UConn wins NCAA mens basketball tournament, defeating Purdue 75-60


The Connecticut Huskies are the 2024 NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball champions after defeating the Purdue Boilermakers 75-60 in the Championship Game on Monday night.

The Huskies went into halftime with a six-point lead, but a dominant defensive performance early in the second half, holding Purdue to just 10 points in over 10 minutes of play, allowed Connecticut to break away. The Huskies won every game in the tournament by more than 10 points.

This is UConn’s sixth men’s basketball title and second championship in a row. The Huskies are the first men’s basketball team to repeat as champions since the Florida Gators in 2006 and 2007.

NCAA MenSamson Johnson #35 of the Connecticut Huskies dunks the ball with Zach Edey #15 of the Purdue Boilermakers defending during the second half of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament National Championship game at State Farm Stadium on April 08, 2024 in Glendale, Arizona.

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Tristen Newton led the Huskies with 20 points. Zach Edey, Purdue’s star big man, led all scorers with 37 points.

Purdue has never won an NCAA men’s basketball title. Last year, they became the second ever No. 1 seed to lose in the first round of the NCAA tournament. They came tantalizingly close to matching the bounceback of the 2019 Virginia Cavaliers, who won the national title after their historic loss to 16-seed UMBC in 2018.

In what was supposed to be a free-for-all in this new age of the transfer portal and name, image and likeness deals, UConn has figured out how to dominate.

The 2024 Huskies are the sixth team to win all six tournament games by double-digit margins. They won those games by a grand total of 140 points, blowing past the previous high of 121 by the 2009 North Carolina team for the highest margin among that exclusive club.

Purdue v Connecticut The Connecticut Huskies celebrate after beating the Purdue Boilermakers 75-60 to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament National Championship game at State Farm Stadium on April 08, 2024 in Glendale, Arizona.

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Cam Spencer, a transfer from Rutgers, Stephon Castle, a blue-chip freshman, and Alex Karaban, a sophomore from last year’s team, spent the night guarding the 3-point line and making life miserable for Purdue’s guards.

This was only the second time this season Purdue didn’t put up 10 3-point attempts. Despite Edey being the game’s highest scorer, the rest of the Boilermakers combined only managed 23 points.

Edey battled gamely, finishing with 10 rebounds to record his 30th double-double of the season. But this game proved the number crunchers right. UConn let Edey back in and back down all night on 7-2 Donovan Clingan, giving up difficult 2s in exchange for any 3s.

Meanwhile, as Edey started wearing down, the Huskies took the ball right at him. Castle finished with 15 points and both Spencer and Clingan had 11, and it barely mattered that UConn made only six 3-pointers, which was right at its season average.

Hurley joins former Florida coach Billy Donovan in the back-to-back club, and is in company with Bill Self and Rick Pitino as only the third active coach with two championships.

Purdue v Connecticut The Connecticut Huskies celebrate during the trophy ceremony after beating the Purdue Boilermakers 75-60 to win the 2024 NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

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Nobody will say the UConn coach didn’t work for this one. In the first half, he begged with, swore at generally berated the refs about over-the-backs, elbows and hip checks that weren’t called.

Once, when that didn’t work after Edey set a hard (and probably legal) pick against Castle, Hurley started in on Edey himself as the center walked toward the Purdue bench for a timeout.

But the coach’s best work came in whatever hotel room he used to draw up the game plan.