UConn vs. Illinois final score, results: Donovan Clingan, Huskies dominant second half sends UConn to Final Four

UConn’s biggest test of the 2024 NCAA Tournament is one they passed with flying colors. 

The Huskies will keep on dancing into the Final Four after a dominating victory over Illinois. While the scoreboard is jarring with a final score that sees UConn with a 77-52 advantage, this was a game in the first half. 

A contest that was pegged to be a battle of two top offenses was a defensive struggle in the opening 20 minutes and finished with UConn only holding a 28-23 lead. At that time, the case could be made that Illinois deserved to be ahead. But the Fighting Illini didn’t have much fight in the final 20 minutes, outscored by a 30-0 margin that began in the final minutes of the first half.

Donovan Clingan had his fingerprints all over this one from start to finish, finishing with 22 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks and three steals. He was a menace on both ends of the floor, which left Illinois without any answers. Midway through the second half, the Illini had only managed four points with him on the floor

Terrence Shannon Jr., who was a big part of the Illini’s run to this point, was quiet. Held to only eight points, Shannon was only 2-for-12 from the floor, doing most of his damage when the game was already out of reach. 

As they’ve proven time and time again, UConn is Goliath and they make everyone else look like David. With just seven teams left in the dance, it’s a wonder whether anyone has what it takes to take these Huskies down. 

MORE: Watch NCAA Tournament games live with Sling TV

The Sporting News tracked scoring updates and highlights from Saturday’s Elite Eight game between Illinois and UConn. Check out all the key moments below.

TSN’s MARCH MADNESS HQ:
Live NCAA bracket news | TV schedule | Predictor tool

Illinois vs. UConn score

  1 2 F
Illinois 23 29 52
UConn 28 49 77

Illinois vs. UConn results, highlights from 2023 March Madness

(All times Eastern)

8:15 p.m. — All that’s left now is what the final score will be. UConn will take on the winner of Alabama and Clemson at the Final Four in Phoenix. While we can’t simulate to the end like you would in video games, we can watch this unbelievable 30-0 run in its entirety

8:02 p.m. — With just over five minutes to go, UConn remains up by 30 in what has been a dominant second half for the No. 1 seed. 

8 p.m. — STEPHON CASTLE ROCKS THE RIM! 

7:54 p.m. — The teams are trading buckets, which UConn will take at the clock continues to tick away. The Huskies lead is holding strong at 30.

7:46 p.m. — It’s safe to say Clingan’s had a big impact on this one, with Illinois only managing to score four points with him on the floor.

7:42 p.m. — WE HAVE POINTS FROM ILLINOIS! The Illini are finally on the board with their first two points of the half at the 12:41 mark. 

7:40 p.m. — A 30-0 run surely won’t help Illinois. There is still no signs of slowing down. 

7:36 p.m. — CBS might want to put a ticker in the corner of Clingan blocks. We’re at five and counting. 

7:32 p.m. — Since Illinois battled back to tie it at 23, the Huskies have gone on an extended 16-0 run. This one is about to get out of hand. 

7:27 p.m. — ANOTHER BLOCK! Clingan is up to four rejections on the evening, sending shots flying left and right. Our advice to Illinois: do not go in there. 

7:25 p.m. — UConn is flipping the switch and on the verge of putting the Illini away early with 17 minutes left. 

7:23 p.m. — The second half begins in familiar fashion — with Clingan getting a bucket to open things up for UConn. 

7:21 p.m. — The second half is about to get underway. The teams will look for a better offensive showing in the final 20.

Halftime: UConn 28, Illinois 23

7:01 p.m. — That’ll do it for the first half. UConn got off to a blazing 9-0 start and closed out the half with a 28-23 advantage. Clingan is dominating for the Huskies and Domask is doing the same for the Illini. As for the other players on the court for each side, there’s plenty of room for improvement. Regardless, 20 minutes separates these two squads from a trip to Phoenix or the trek back home. 

6:59 p.m. — Huskies starters not named Clingan are 1-for-17 from the field. Hopefully you didn’t bet the over, folks. 

6:57 p.m. — The Illini not named Domask are 4-for-25 from the field with only 33 seconds left in the first half. These two offensive juggernauts are in the midst of a defensive battle here in the Elite Eight. How about that?

6:54 p.m. — UConn has punched back, responding with a 5-0 burst as we head into the final minute of the first half. 

6:52 p.m. — Marcus Domask is on fire in the first half. He has 15 of Illinois’ 23 points and this ballgame is tied for the first time since the opening tip. 

6:45 p.m. — A THROWDOWN! Samson Johnson rocks the rim with a major highlight!

6:44 p.m. — Whenever Clingan leaves the floor, Illinois finds their rhythm on offense again. He might be playing a lot of minutes the rest of the way with UConn’s shooting performance being underwhelming thus far. 

6:40 p.m. — Illinois is struggling on offense again, going scoreless for five minutes. UConn hasn’t been able to take advantage, letting the Illini hanging around.

6:38 p.m. — The game has stabilized now and features plenty of physicality in what feels like a throwback basketball game. 

6:35 p.m. — Donovan Clingan is dominating this one so far, blocking shots and contributing offensively too. 

6:28 p.m. — After a dominating start from the Huskies, Illinois has responded with a 13-6 burst after the timeout. We have a two point game at the under 12 break as these two heavyweights feel each other out. 

6:24 p.m. — Terrence Shannon Jr. has been quiet to this point, attempting only one shot with 13:26 left in the first half. 

6:21 p.m. — Illinois is finally on the board, connecting on a free throw out of the timeout. A quick run for the Illini would go a long way in stabilizing the guys in orange. 

6:17 p.m. — The jitters are evident for Illinois in the early going. They don’t have the advantage in the stands or on the court, leading to missed shots and turnovers. A 9-0 Huskies run to open things up won’t do wonders either, as we hit the first TV timeout of the game. 

6:15 p.m. — There is a lid on the basket right now for the Illini, who are still searching for their first points after three minutes. The Huskies are off to a quick 7-0 start.

6:11 p.m. — A WEDGIE! Now that’s how you get this game started in style. We’re in for a good one folks. 

6:10 p.m. — It’s a minute behind schedule, but we are officially underway in Boston. 

6:04 p.m. — Starting lineups have rolled in for our two contestants in Beantown, with familiar faces getting things going at TD Garden.

5:50 p.m. — Kevin Harlan, Stan Van Gundy and Don Bonner are on the call for this Elite Eight game from Boston. Illinois is rocking their orange threads, while UConn has opted for the classic white look. 

5:40 p.m. — Final preparations are underway, with a trip to the Final Four on the line. 

5:36 p.m. — As we inch closer to game time, let’s take a look at how the teams arrived to today’s contest. 

5 p.m. — A popular name in today’s contest will be Coleman Hawkins. For the last four years, he’s been a member of the Illini — which is fairly uncommon in today’s college sports landscape. For more on Hawkins, CBS Sports takes a look at his journey.

4:30 p.m. — Game time will come quickly, so the team’s social media accounts are making sure their fans are engaged. 

What channel is Illinois vs. UConn on today?

  • TV channel: TBS, truTV
  • Live stream: NCAA March Madness live, Sling TV

Saturday’s Elite Eight game between Illinois and UConn will be broadcast on TBS and truTV. 

Cord cutters hoping to catch a glimpse of the action can find the game streaming on NCAA March Madness live or Sling TV.

MORE: Watch March Madness 2023 games live on Sling TV

Illinois vs. UConn start time

  • Date: Saturday, March 30
  • Time: 6 p.m. ET

Illinois and UConn will get the Elite Eight action started at 6 p.m. ET, with tip off set for around 6:09 p.m. ET from TD Garden in Boston, Mass. on Saturday. 

NCAA Tournament schedule 2024

Here’s how the remaining schedule looks for the rest of the NCAA Tournament in 2024:

Elite Eight

Saturday, March 30

Game Time (ET) TV/Live stream
Illinois vs. UConn 6:09 p.m. TBS, Sling
Clemson vs. Alabama 8:49 p.m. TBS, Sling

Sunday, March 31

Game Time (ET) TV/Live stream
Tennessee vs. Purdue 2:20 p.m. CBS, Paramount+
NC State vs. Duke 5:05 p.m. CBS, Paramount+

Final Four

Saturday, April 6

Game Time (ET) TV/Live stream
TBD vs. TBD 6 p.m. TBS, Sling
TBD vs. TBD 8:30 p.m. TBS, Sling

National championship

Monday, April 8

Game Time (ET) TV/Live stream
TBD vs. TBD 9 p.m. TBS, Sling

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