No Cinderella team emerged out of the East Region, leaving four juggernauts to continue their NCAA Tournament journeys in Boston.

TD Garden will be the stage for the schools starting Thursday when Sweet 16 action begins. Reigning national champion and top-seeded UConn battles No. 5 San Diego State in a rematch of last year’s national final. Tipoff for that contest is set for 7:39 p.m. ET. Third-seeded Illinois and No. 2 Iowa State collide in another showdown at 10:09 p.m. The winners will square off Saturday in the Elite Eight.

Each team enters Boston with the same goal in mind of cutting down the nets and advancing to the Final Four. So, let’s take a closer look at the four teams that will play at TD Garden and how they got there.

No. 1 UConn (33-3)
How the Huskies got here: 91-52 win vs. No. 16 Stetson; 75-58 win vs. No. 8 Northwestern.

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The Huskies have steamrolled the competition, securing their wins by an average margin of 28 points. They sure have the look of a team poised to win back-to-back national titles, something that hasn’t been done in almost 20 years.

UConn has a fearsome starting five, featuring leading scorer Tristen Newton and a double-double machine in 7-foot-2 sophomore center Donovan Clingan. That’s just where it starts for the Huskies, who also boast two knock down 3-point shooters in Cam Spencer and Alex Karaban.

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UConn basically does everything well, but even with Spencer and Karaban, long-range shooting isn’t its strength. The Huskies made just 3-of-22 (13.6%) attempts from beyond the arc against Northwestern, but still won by 17 points.

No. 5 San Diego State (26-10)
How the Aztecs got here: 69-65 win vs. No. 12 UAB; 85-57 win vs. No. 13 Yale.

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The calling card for the Aztecs hasn’t changed since a surprise run to the national title game a season ago. San Diego State is still built on its smothering defense as it held both of its NCAA Tournament opponents to under 40% shooting from the field.

On the other side of the floor, San Diego State’s offense runs through star senior Jaedon LeDee. The 6-foot-9, 240-pound power forward is averaging an eye-popping 29 points per game in the tourney and puts stress on opposing defenses by constantly causing fouls. LeDee has help on the offensive end from savy veteran guards in Lamont Butler and Darrion Trammell.

By no mean’s is San Diego State an offensive force, though. The Aztecs are very streaky offensively. They canned a season-high 13 triples against Yale, but their offense can dry up in a moment’s notice.

No. 2 Iowa State (29-7)
How the Cyclones got here: 82-65 win vs. No. 15 South Dakota State; 67-56 win vs. No. 7 Washington State.

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The Cyclones are one of three teams left in the region that have yet to play in a NCAA Tournament game decided by single digits. Iowa State used its balanced scoring attack as a recipe for success with four double-digit scorers in each of its wins. Sophomore Tamin Lipsey is averaging 16 points per game in the tourney to lead the Cyclones while freshman forward Milan Momcilovic can have big scoring nights, too, like he did with a 19-point effort against the Jackrabbits.

Iowa State can light it up from 3-point range and continued to do so through the first two rounds. The Cyclones have knocked down 48.6% of their 3-pointers.

Iowa State isn’t deep with head coach T.J. Otzelberger sticking with a tight eight-man rotation. The lack of depth could hurt the Cyclones at this stage of the NCAA Tournament, especially if any of their bigs get in foul trouble.

No. 3 Illinois (28-8)
How the Fighting Illini got here: 85-69 win vs. No. 14 Morehead State; 89-63 win vs. No. 11 Duquesne.

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Illinois received some pushback from Morehead State in the opening round — the Eagles led for a majority of the first half and were tied with 14:21 remaining — but the Fighting Illini got their feet under them to shoot down any notion of an upset bid.

If there’s one name on Illinois to know it’s Terrence Shannon Jr. The stellar senior guard was an All-Big 10 First Team selection and he showed why in the tournament. Shannon poured in 26 points against Morehead State and followed that up with 30 points against Duquesne. And when Illinois needs secondary scoring, it usually comes from senior forward Marcus Domask. But relying heavily on Shannon to produce on the offensive end might be the Fighting Illini’s Achilles heel.

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