UConn finished this regular season with losses in four of its last five games, but has gone 9-0 since.
In Saturday's national semifinals, Connecticut will meet Kentucky; the winner will play the winner of the game between Virginia Commonwealth and Butler.
In another tournament-related matter, Walter King, grandfather of VCU coach Shaka Smart, died at age 90. He had been in a Chicago hospital with failing kidneys. The funeral will be after the Final Four.
* Memphis coach Josh Pastner signed a 5-year contract extension, worth $1.7 million annually, after leading the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament in his second year on the job.
Pastner was hired in April 2009 to replace John Calipari when he took the Kentucky job. The Tigers went 24-10 in Pastner's first season, securing a spot in the NIT.
* Louisiana Tech has hired Mississippi assistant Michael White as its next head coach, a person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press. White will replace Kerry Rupp, who was fired last week after compiling a 57-69 record in four seasons.
* UCLA's defensive stopper, junior guard Malcolm Lee, and Pitt junior Ashton Gibbs, announced they would enter the NBA draft, but will not hire an agent, a step that will protect their eligibility should they change their minds.
* Monmouth hired Vanderbilt assistant King Rice as its coach to replace Dave Calloway, who resigned under pressure after five straight losing seasons.
* Karen Cunagin Sypher, the woman convicted of attempting to extort money from Louisville coach Rick Pitino, made another request for a new trial, saying she has evidence that casts doubt on key witness testimony.
In the NIT:
* At New York, JaMychal Green scored 22 points, Trevor Releford scored the go-ahead basket in the closing seconds, and top-seeded Alabama (25-11) withstood a late rally to beat Colorado, 62-61 . . . Garrett Stutz came off the bench to score a career-high 24 points, and Wichita State (28-8)romped past Washington State, 74-44.
The final will be tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden. *