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No one knew then, but UConn vs St. Joe's in the 2014 NCAA Tournament First Round had a massive impact on the national championship.

UConn vs St. Joe’s 2014 NCAA Tournament First Round

No one could have known it at the time, but UConn vs St. Joe’s was a massive factor in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.

The No. 7 seeded Huskies and No. 10 seeded Hawks played in an inconspicuous first round matchup, pitting the second-place finisher out of the AAC against fourth place in the A-10. UConn had just made a run all the way to the AAC Final before falling to Louisville in the final, 71-61, and St. Joe’s punched itself into the Big Dance with an A-10 Tournament title days before this showdown.

When the ball tipped in Buffalo, no one knew the narrow UConn victory would be the closest anyone would come to eliminating the eventual champions.

It took overtime for UConn to eventually outlast St. Joe’s, but after an extra five minutes, the Huskies were moving on to the second round to face No. 2 seed and former Big East-foe Villanova. In the following weeks, Connecticut would win five more games over No. 3 seed Iowa State, No. 4 seed Michigan State, No. 1 seed Florida and No. 8 seed Kentucky to claim the program’s fourth national championship and second in four years.

Shabazz Napier led UConn with 24 points with a perfect 8-of-8 mark from the charity stripe, and he added eight rebounds and six assists, too. Four other Huskies scored in double figures – DeAndre Daniels, Ryan Boatright and Niels Giffey – and Amida Brimah chipped in nine important points off the bench.

Langston Galloway posted a game-high 25 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field. Ronald Roberts Jr. had a double-double for St. Joe’s with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and DeAndre’ Bembry, Chris Wilson and Halil Kanacevic shared the rest of the Hawks scoring. St. Joe’s scored zero bench points in the game, with only nine minutes coming off the bench in total in 45 minutes of play.

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