Busting Brackets

NCAA Tournament 2024: Ranking the starting lineups of each Sweet 16 team

Apr 3, 2023; Houston, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Tristen Newton (2) grabs the ball against
Apr 3, 2023; Houston, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Tristen Newton (2) grabs the ball against / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Connecticut (1-seed)

Stephon Castle (Freshman – Guard)

Considered a Top 10 prospect in this year’s recruiting class, Castle has certainly shown that potential and been a big addition to the Huskies. Castle averages 10.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game as the young piece of this talented backcourt, winning Big East Rookie of the Year honors. He’s not going to light it up from outside, but he did drop 14 points against Stetson in the Huskies’ opening round Tourney game, while also dropped 20+ points three times in Big East play.

Donovan Clingan (Sophomore – Center)

A big part of last year’s championship run as a freshman, Clingan is even more impactful as a sophomore for the Huskies. UConn has seen his continued growth, as he averages 12.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. Clingan has made just under 66% of his field goal attempts and rates as one of the most efficient players in the Big East. He’s among the national leaders in blocked shots and really went off with 14 points, 14 rebounds, and 8 blocks against Northwestern in Sunday’s big win in the Tournament.

Alex Karaban (Sophomore – Forward)

An impactful presence as a redshirt freshman last year, Karaban has taken a step forward in year two starting for the Huskies. This talented forward does a bit of everything for Connecticut, including a 39% mark from beyond the 3, 87% from the charity stripe, and decent steal and shot-blocking numbers. Karaban had several 20-point efforts across the season and despite just 21 point total in his first two NCAA Tournament games is a major threat for the Huskies in the potential games ahead.

Tristen Newton (Senior – Guard)

Following three seasons at East Carolina, Newton transferred to UConn and was a major part of last season’s national championship. His final collegiate season has seen him put up great numbers, averaging 15.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game, while also being named Big East Tournament MVP. He’s a major reason why the Huskies have great potential to repeat their title. He’s had multiple triple-doubles this season and is fresh off a 20-point, 10-assist effort against Northwestern.

dark. Next. Ranking Sweet 16 teams in NCAAT. Ranking Sweet 16 teams in NCAAT

Cam Spencer (Senior – Guard)

A stud at Loyola-Maryland and then last year for Rutgers, Spencer has adjusted quickly and been a major playmaker this season with the Huskies. He’s averaging 14.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.6 steals per game as another key addition to this star-studded lineup. He’s not the same type of scorer as he was in the Patriot League, but he’s one of the most efficient offensive players in the Big East, and has scored in double figures in the Huskies’ two blowout wins in the Tourney so far.