March Madness

UConn routs Purdue 75-60 in men's national championship, goes back-to-back

The Huskies' pack attack proved too much for the Boilermakers' one-man plan.

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The solar eclipse may not have been visible from inside State Farm Stadium in Arizona, but UConn completely blanked Purdue to repeat as champions.

The No. 1-seeded Huskies on Monday topped Zach Edey and the No. 1 Boilermakers 75-60 in the 2024 men's national championship game, joining rare company in the process as consecutive champs.

Entering the game, it was a story about one team who deployed a well-balanced attack while the other focused on its 7-foot-4 big man.

But while Purdue showed it learned from its mistakes this tournament after last year's shock first-round exit to No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson, its flaws were exposed by a team capable of taking the game to Edey.

The Huskies led 36-30 at halftime despite Edey's robust half. Tristen Newton led the way with 11 points while Cam Spencer, Donovan Clingan and Hassan Diarra all chipped in seven points each. Diarra did so off the bench while shooting 3-for-4 overall.

The Boilermakers really only had Edey stirring the pot at the interval. He had 16 points on 7-for-12 shooting along with five rebounds and two blocks. Braden Smith gradually got going to end with nine points, three rebounds and three assists.

But the second half didn't start so well for Purdue. Edey failed to make an impact down low on both sides of the court and UConn no longer seemed afraid of attacking him, as was the case in spurts during the first 20 minutes. In fact, Edey endured a 10-minute spell without a point and logged just one rebound in that span.

UConn pushed the lead to 56-40 with 9:27 to go thanks to, once again, a balanced attack. Purdue kept forcing the ball down to Edey and evidently lacked a plan B, while the Huskies kept attacking the big man with consistent success.

The Huskies' largest lead of the game was 18 points despite shooting just 6-for-22 (27%) from 3-point land. Purdue fared even worse from deep, going just 1-for-7 (14%).

Newton led the Huskies with 20 points, seven assists and five rebounds while Spencer did all the other things on a night where his shot wasn't as hot as usual. Four Huskies eclipsed double-digit point totals while Diarra ended with nine.

Edey assembled a solid stat line for himself, posting 37 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks on 15-for-25 shooting. He made 7 of 10 free throws. The next best scorer was Smith with 12.

UConn's win makes it the program's sixth national championship all time. The other triumphs came in 1999, 2004, 2011, 2014 and 2023.

Purdue, on the other hand, will have to wait longer for its first men's basketball title. Its best finish came as a runner-up in 1969.

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