Connecticut Coach Jim Calhoun's Huskies will face Missouri Saturday for a berth in the Sweet 16. Photo by Mike Frandsen.

Third-seeded Connecticut used a 12-0 run late in the first half to break the game open and ease past 14th-seeded Bucknell, 81-52 Thursday in an NCAA West region opening round game at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

Five years ago as a 14-seed, Bucknell upset 3rd-seeded Kansas, and in the same tournament, top-seeded UConn fell to Cinderella George Mason.  However, any hope of a similar result this season ended for the underdog Bison when the Huskies stretched a 27-20 lead to a 39-22 halftime advantage.

It didn’t get any better for Bucknell in the second half.  At one point, Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun called a timeout and put star guard Kemba Walker back into the game after a Bucknell bucket cut the UConn lead in half, to 62-31.

Playing five games in five days last week to win the Big East tournament was not a problem for UConn (27-9).

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