35 Countdown: 2004


March 1, 2014

Ben Gordon was a scholastic star from nearby Mount Vernon, N.Y., who felt very much at home playing at Madison Square Garden. So much at home that people were calling him Madison Square Gordon after he scored a tournament-record 81 points in three games to lead No. 2 seeded Connecticut to the title with a 61-58 win over top-seeded Pittsburgh.

The Huskies had a relatively stress-free path to the final, beating Notre Dame 66-58 in the quarterfinals and Villanova 84-67 in the semifinals. Pittsburgh beat Boston College 62-53 in the semifinals.

Gordon was named Dave Gavitt Trophy winner and teammate Taliek Brown to the All-Tournament Team. Pittsburgh placed Carl Krauser, Jaron Brown and Chris Taft to the All-Tournament Team along with Craig Smith of Boston College.