Top-seed UConn routs Robert Morris 101-49 in first round

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STORRS, Conn. (AP) Top-ranked UConn made an early statement about its focus in the quest for a fourth consecutive national title.

Freshman Katie Lou Samuelson scored 22 points, two-time national player of the year Breanna Stewart added 18 and UConn routed Robert Morris 101-49 on Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Huskies led by 37 points after the first quarter and were never challenged.

“When it comes to NCAA Tournament time, you don’t have to get anyone up for a game,” Stewart said. “Everyone is ready to play and we came out looking like we came ready to play.”

Anna Niki Stamolamprou had 11 for Robert Morris (20-13) in the final game for coach Sal Buscaglia, who is retiring after a 38-year career.

The Huskies, who are seeking an 11th championship, have won 70 consecutive games, which matches the second-longest winning streak in team and NCAA history.

They led by 49 points at halftime and 61 after three quarters.

The win sends the Huskies to the second round for the 23rd straight season, where they face Duquesne.

Moriah Jefferson and Kia Nurse each scored 14 points while combining for 11 assists. Morgan Tuck added 13 points and eight rebounds.

Stewart also had eight steals and three blocked shots, giving her 398 blocks for her career. Her rejection of a layup by Leah Wormack at the end of the first quarter moved her past Rebecca Lobo and into first place on the school’s all-time list.

UConn put the game away in that quarter, led by 10 points each from Stewart and Samuelson.

Nurse hit a 3-pointer from the right baseline 19 seconds into the game and the Huskies never trailed. UConn pressured Robert Morris early and forced 13 first-quarter turnovers. The Huskies used a 22-0 run to lead 41-4 after 10 minutes.

UConn took its first 50-point lead at 60-9 on a pair of free throws from Natalie Butler and led 64-15 at halftime.

“We all got off to a good start and a good run and I think our energy was really high,” Samuelson said. “So, it made it a lot easier for us to go on a run.”

Robert Morris, which averages about 16 giveaways a game, turned the ball over 29 times, and the Huskies scored 50 points off those.

The margin of victory wasn’t the largest in UConn’s tournament history. The Huskies beat LIU 101-29 in the first round of the 2001 tournament.

Buscaglia announced last year that this would be his final season after coaching stints at Hilbert College, Buffalo and Manhattan. He finishes his career 711-369 and 224-178 at Robert Morris. His first game as a head coach was a 105-17 loss, and he joked that he was worried about coming full circle.

“After 38 years of doing this and knowing I’m not going to be doing it, it’s hard,” he said through tears after the game. “I’m not Peyton Manning. I’m not those people, but it’s still the same feeling.”

He also expressed pride in his team, noting they were taking running plays and taking charges until the final buzzer.

UConn, which has won 116 of its last 117 games, also won 70 straight games between November 2001 and November 2003. They need 20 more to match their own NCAA record of 90 games set between November 2008 and December 2010.

The Huskies, who have qualified for the NCAA Tournament every year since 1989, are now 104-17 in the tournament and 24-2 in the first round. The Huskies have been to eight straight Final Fours and 10 straight regional finals.

“This team is pretty locked in,” said UConn coach Geno Auriemma. “They are pretty focused on what we are trying to do, what the task ahead of us is.”

2022-2023 Atlantic 10 Basketball Schedule: How to watch men’s and women’s games on USA Network and NBC Sports

Atlantic 10 basketball is coming to NBC Sports this 2022-2023 season! Here's how to watch!
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Atlantic 10 basketball is headed to NBC Sports! During the 2022-2023 season, 35 exciting matchups will be featured on USA Network and NBC Sports digital platforms, including exclusive coverage of the 2023 Atlantic 10 Men’s Championship second round and quarterfinals, 26 men’s regular-season matchups, and three women’s regular-season games.

The action tips off on Saturday, December 10 on USA Network as the Drexel Dragons head to Tom Gola Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to take on the La Salle Explorers at 12:00 p.m. ET. Immediately after, the Dayton Flyers will face the UNC Asheville Bulldogs at UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio at 2:00  p.m. ET.

All coverage on USA Network streams live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. See below for the 2022-2023 Atlantic 10 men’s and women’s basketball schedules as well as additional information on how to watch/live stream each game.

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2022-2023 Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Schedule:

*All times are listed as ET

DATE GAME NETWORK/PLATFORM TIME (ET)
Saturday, Dec. 10 Drexel at La Salle USA Network Noon
Saturday, Dec. 10 UNC Asheville at Dayton USA Network 2 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 7 Davidson at VCU USA Network Noon
Saturday, Jan. 7 UMass at George Washington USA Network 2 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 14 Loyola Chicago at Saint Joseph’s USA Network 12:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 14 Richmond at St. Bonaventure USA Network 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 17 UMass at VCU NBC Sports App, NBCSports.com 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 21 Dayton at George Washington USA Network 12:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 21 La Salle at Saint Louis USA Network 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 29 Saint Joseph’s at George Mason USA Network Noon
Saturday, Feb. 4 Davidson at UMass USA Network 12:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 4 George Mason at Loyola Chicago USA Network 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 5 Fordham at Richmond USA Network Noon
Saturday, Feb. 11 St. Bonaventure at Duquesne USA Network 12:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 11 Fordham at Davidson USA Network 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 18 Saint Joseph’s at Davidson USA Network 12:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 18 Fordham at VCU USA Network 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 19 George Washington at St. Bonaventure USA Network 2 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 22 St. Bonaventure at Davidson NBC Sports App, NBCSports.com 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 25 Rhode Island at Fordham USA Network 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 26 Saint Joseph’s at St. Bonaventure USA Network Noon
Sunday, Feb. 26 Davidson at Duquesne USA Network 2 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 28 La Salle at Dayton NBC Sports App, NBCSports.com 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 4 George Mason at Richmond USA Network 12:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 4 St. Bonaventure at UMass USA Network 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 4 VCU at George Washington USA Network 4:30 p.m.

How to watch the 2022-2023 Atlantic 10 Men’s Championship on USA Network:

DATE GAME TIME (ET)
Wednesday, March 8 A-10 Championship Second Round Noon, 2:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 9 A-10 Championship Quarterfinals Noon, 2:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 8:30 p.m.

How to watch 2022-2023 Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball on NBC Sports:

  • Wednesday, January 25 – George Washington at Loyola Chicago at 12:00 p.m. ET
  • Thursday, January 26 – VCU at UMass at 12:00 p.m. ET
  • Wednesday, February 8 – St. Bonaventure at George Mason – 7:00 p.m. ET

Peacock Classic 2022: How to watch Gonzaga vs. Baylor, live stream info and game preview

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Two of men’s college basketball’s elite programs are set to face off when the No. 6 Baylor Bears and No. 14 Gonzaga Bulldogs play in the inaugural “Peacock Classic” Friday night. The game marks a rematch of the highly-anticipated 2021 NCAA National Championship Game, and the Zags will certainly look to get some revenge after Baylor ended their bid at an undefeated season.

The two programs boast two of the best coaches in the country, with Scott Drew of Baylor and Mark Few of Gonzaga working the sidelines. The “Peacock Classic” also marks a crucial point in the development of name, image and likeness deals at the collegiate level. Read on to learn everything you need to know ahead of the event.


How to watch the 2022 “Peacock Classic”

Only those with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan can stream the event. Sign up here or, if you have a free account, upgrade to Premium by going to your account settings.


A new world of NIL opportunities

For the first time, college athletes will be able to earn money by promoting a game in which they are playing.

Eligible players for both Baylor and Gonzaga can opt-in through NBC Sports Athlete Direct – a NIL community connecting student-athletes, advertisers and fans – and promote the game’s sponsors on their personal social media channels.

All participating players will be paid the same rate for their involvement.


Rematch of 2021 NCAA National Championship Game and series history

Baylor’s 86-70 victory over Gonzaga in the 2021 championship game marked the Bears’ first-ever NCAA men’s basketball title. The game carried added stakes since the Bulldogs entered it with a 31-0 record – the first team to make the championship game without a loss since Larry Bird’s Indiana State Sycamores in 1979.

That matchup was a rightful bout between the two behemoths of that season – it was the first championship game that featured the tournament’s top two overall seeds since North Carolina beat Illinois in 2005. Baylor jumped all over Gonzaga in the early going, playing an aggressive style that prevented the Bulldogs from getting into their fluid offense and opened up its own attack for 3-pointers. Gonzaga was a -4.5-point favorite but never led in the game.

Gonzaga leads the all-time series between the teams 5-1, having won all their matchups with Baylor before the championship game. The previous meeting before 2021 saw Gonzaga eliminate Baylor from the 2019 NCAA tournament in the second round by a score of 83-71.


How Baylor and Gonzaga match up with each other

Both teams have been tested multiple times early in their seasons. Gonzaga (5-2) has defeated two teams currently ranked – No. 20 Michigan State and No. 19 Kentucky – but lost to No. 2 Texas and No. 5 Purdue. The Zags last played on Sunday, when they outlasted Xavier 88-84 to secure third place in the Phil Knight Legacy men’s tournament.

Baylor (5-2) has had it slightly easier but has still had to deal with talented teams; they lost to No. 3 Virginia and defeated No. 21 UCLA in back-to-back games earlier this month. They’re coming off a surprising 96-70 loss to Marquette in Wisconsin Tuesday night as part of the Big East-Big 12 Battle.

Gonzaga will face a tough task in trying to slow down Baylor’s offense, whose 88.1 points per game ranks ninth in the country.

The Bears are paced by a duo of strong guards. LJ Cryer leads the team at 17.9 points per game, and Adam Flagler is not far behind at 16.9 points per contest while averaging 6.9 assists.

Baylor also boasts the services of freshman Keyonte George, another talented guard who could be a lottery pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Naismith Player of the Year Award candidate Drew Timme leads the way for the Zags, averaging 20.3 points and 7.7 rebounds. He’s flanked by Julian Strawther, who’s putting up 14.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per night.

Timme and Strawther are two of the six Gonzaga players left over from the 2021 finalist team, so vengeance will be top of mind. Baylor also has six holdovers from that championship matchup, including Cryer and Flagler.

With both teams ranked and looking to prove themselves early in the season, Friday will be a statement game – in more ways than one.