TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — San Diego's Brandon Johnson, a 6-foot, play-making point guard, and Connecticut's Hasheem Thabeet, a 7-foot-3, shot-blocking center, shook hands at midcourt during pre-game introductions.
It was the only time the Toreros looked overmatched Friday.
De'Jon Jackson's pull-up jumper just inside the 3-point line with 1.2 seconds remaining in overtime gave 13th-seeded San Diego a 70-69 victory over No. 5 seed Connecticut in the first round of the NCAA tournament's West Regional.
It was the Toreros' first tournament victory in four tries and the second upset in as many games in Tampa.
San Diego (22-13) took advantage of strong inside play from Gyno Pomare, four 3-pointers from Johnson and Jackson's clutch shot to advance to the second round. The Toreros will play No. 12 Western Kentucky, which used a desperation 3-pointer to upend fifth-seeded Drake.
If Pomare (22 points on 10-of-12 shooting) and Johnson (18 points, five rebounds and four assists) play like they did against the Huskies, the small school known mostly for its scenic ocean views could be in for an extended stay in the tournament.
UConn, meanwhile, heads home much earlier than expected — ending an inconsistent season with another up-and-down performance.
The Huskies (24-9) had an excuse in this one. They played most of the game without leading scoring A.J. Price, who injured his left knee in the first half and did not return.
The junior point guard landed awkwardly on his knee while driving to the basket with 9:39 to play in the first half. He was carried off the floor, examined on the bench and then helped to the locker room for more tests.
He briefly returned to the bench on crutches, but wasn't around for the start of the second half.
The game was tied at 16 when Price fell. Without him, San Diego pulled out to an 11-point lead early in the second half and UConn was left without its top playmaker in overtime.