Final Four: UConn secures upset of No. 1 Florida - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Final Four: UConn secures upset of No. 1 Florida

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(RNN) - Talk about a tale of two halves. Things looked grim for Connecticut when it trailed Florida by 12 points early in the game.

But again, that was just the first half.

The Huskies (30-8) scratched and clawed and came out on top 63-53 to become the first team to reach the championship game of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

DeAndre Daniels dominated in the paint, scoring a game-high 20 points with 10 rebounds and willing the Huskies back from a 16-4 deficit more than 10 minutes into the game. He also did some handiwork from outside, hitting a pair of 3-pointers as part of an 11-0 run that made the score 16-15.

Ryan Boatright added 13 points and six rebounds. All the rebounds by Boatright and Daniels were on the defensive end.

"Everybody was at a Level 5, and that was the most important thing," UConn coach Kevin Ollie said after the game. "Our output was positive and it was productive."

Shabazz Napier added 12 points and six assists, and Niels Giffey scored 11.

Florida (36-2) went down 61-49 with 1:46 to play in the game - the largest deficit it had faced all season - and it signaled the end of a memorable run for one of the strongest teams in the country all season.

The loss broke a 30-game winning streak for the Gators, who had not reached a Final Four since winning back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007.

Patric Young led the Gators with 19 points, and Casey Prather followed with 15.

The Gators were hailed as possibly the strongest defensive unit in the Tournament, but they looked powerless to stop the gradual trickle of points that gave the Huskies command in the game's latter minutes.

Florida was the No. 1 overall seed in the Tournament and entered the game a 7-point favorite over UConn. But the Gators lost 65-64 to the Huskies in the regular season.

The Gators had never lost a game in the NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed.

Florida outdid its reputation as a stellar offensive team with a sometimes problematic offense. It's 22 points in the first 20 minutes were the fewest the team scored in an opening half all season, and it trailed 25-22.

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