After Dominating Alabama, UConn’s Donovan Clingan Is The One Man Who Can Stop Zach Edey From Winning A National Title


Greatness in sports at the highest level is often about adapting on the fly, and countering what your opponent throws at you. Alabama gave UConn all they could handle for most of Saturday night’s Final Four showdown, but in the end, the Donovan Clingan-led Huskies prevailed by yet another decisive margin.

UConn is one win away from a repeat thanks largely to how they adjusted to what the Crimson Tide hit them with. With a 73% shooting clip from beyond the arc in the first half, Alabama was in striking distance, trailing only 44-40 at the break. They hung pretty tough thereafter thanks to a relentless pace and a lack of fear when attacking the rim. Alas, star guard Mark Sears’ shots started to fall less frequently, the Tide couldn’t hang on the glass, and the Huskies really didn’t give much ground in committing only four turnovers the entire evening.

UConn broke Bama’s spirit in a sort of Muhammad Ali-esque rope-a-dope type of way, letting the Tide swing wildly at them and even land some big blows early on. It just wasn’t sustainable for 40 minutes. By the time the final horn sounded in Glendale, the clearly superior team won.

Speaking of adapting, though, poor CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson had to interview Purdue’s 7-foot-4 stud Zach Edey after the Boilermakers’ snoozer of a win over NC State without the aid of a ladder to make up for a height disparity typically seen in adults and young children. The fine folks helped her out when she got to speak to the 7-foot-2 Clingan following his excellent night, where he scored 18 points with five rebounds and four blocks.

Cracks me up that they spoke to Clingan first and put him furthest away when they set up this interview. Anywho, not much of consequence in the dialogue, save for Clingan saying “the job’s not done yet” at the very end of the clip. And how true that is.

We’ve got an absolute barn burner on deck. My ex-colleague and mutual X follow pal Jake Marsh painted the main narrative perfectly:

Repeat vs. Redemption. That is, Edey’s Purdue squad lost to 16th seed Fairleigh Dickinson in the Round of 64 during last year’s Big Dance, whereas UConn went on a torrid run much like they’re doing right now to win the whole damn thing.

I think I speak for damn near everyone in the country when I say that Edey’s style of play is not easy on the eyes. No non-Purdue fans or the fine folks North of the Border in Canada (Edey is a Toronto native) are psyched that the Boilermakers have advanced this far. I will say, it does suck for Edey that he, the National Player of the Year, can’t cash in on NIL deals — particularly with a dubious NBA future ahead of him.

That said, still ain’t cheering for him in the natty on Monday night. Clingan must put an end to this. UConn’s culture and collective team is greatness personified. They play the game the right way. Their approach and tenacity are second to none. If you don’t like Dan Hurley, you must be one of those edgelords who also doesn’t like movies or puppies and sh*t like that. Man is so locked in and intense at all times in the competitive arena that you can’t help but rally around him, even when it’s a little ridiculous that he tries to play up a “UConn vs. the world” narrative.

Hey, whatever works. The Huskies are as bought in as you could possibly be as a collective unit. I think Clingan is the toughest foe Edey will face to date, and I’m not convinced he’ll be able to flourish like he has with all of UConn’s swarming defenders helping out on him. Edey coughed up five turnovers against NC State; I could see just as many, if not more against the Huskies since he can’t dribble worth a lick and plays as though he has lead in his sneakers a lot of the time.

Watch the highlights below and tell me Clingan isn’t going to absolutely strap Edey on Monday night. Or at least that’s what I’m attempting to speak into existence. See y’all then for a f*cking psychotically late 9:20 p.m. ET tip-off that’ll probably be some minutes later than that!

Consolation prize to Bama’s Grant Nelson for figuratively murdering Clingan once at the rim, complemented by a dome-blowing call from Ian Eagle to boot.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock