UConn's Adama Sanogo caps dominant NCAA tournament performance with Most Outstanding Player award

Adama Sanogo capped a dominant run through the NCAA tournament on Monday with the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player award.

The UConn forward secured the honor after leading the Huskies in a 76-59 win over San Diego State in the national championship game. The double-digit win was the sixth in six NCAA tournament games for the Huskies in one of the most commanding tournament runs in recent memory. Sanogo was UConn's anchor throughout.

He finished Monday's win with 17 points, 10 rebounds and one block. He shot 5 of 9 from the floor and 7 of 8 from the free-throw line. The performance followed up a 21-point, 10-rebound, two-block effort in Saturday's Final Four win over Miami. He shot 9 of 11 against the Hurricanes, including a 2-of-3 effort from beyond the 3-point arc.

Apr 3, 2023; Houston, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward Adama Sanogo (21) controls the ball against San Diego State Aztecs forward Nathan Mensah (31) in the national championship game of the 2023 NCAA Tournament at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Adama Sanogo was dominant throughout the NCAA tournament. (Robert Deutsch/Reuters) (USA TODAY USPW / reuters)

"I just want to say anything is possible," Sanogo said when asked by CBS' Jim Nantz to address his parents in his native Mali on the championship stage. "Just believe in yourself. Make sure you make the right decisions. Anything is possible. Just believe in yourself."

On a team that overwhelmed opponents with efficiency on offense and made life at the rim a battle on defense, Sanogo set the tone. He finished the tournament averaging 19.7 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. Per CBS, he joined Hakeem Olajuwon, Christian Laettner and Corliss Williamson as the only players in the last 40 years to enter the title game averaging 20-plus points while shooting better than 65% from the field in NCAA tournament games.

He delivered Monday's effort matched up against Mountain West Defensive Player of the year Nathan Mensah. Mensah finished the game with one point, six rebounds, two steals and a block. He shot 0 of 4 from the field.

A two-time All-Big East player, Sanogo was at his best on the biggest stage.