UConn advances with a win over Alabama at the Phil Knight Invitational

PORTLAND, Ore. – Nate Oats is probably as close a friend as UConn men’s basketball coach Dan Hurley among college basketball head coaches. That didn’t stop the emotions on Friday evening from temporarily boiling over.

UConn and Alabama engaged in verbal sparring on midcourt as they headed to their respective locker rooms at halftime. Early in the second half, Oats was hit with a technical foul after disagreeing with a call.

Ultimately, cooler heads prevailed – and so did UConn. The 20th-ranked Huskies finished the game with steadfast defensive efforts en route to an 82-67 win in a Phil Knight Invitational semifinal game at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

UConn (7-0) meets upstart Iowa State in the tournament championship at 10 p.m. Sunday at the Moda Center. The Cyclones (5-0) defeated top-ranked North Carolina on Friday, denying the Huskies a chance to play the nation’s No. 1 team for the 13th time in program history.