NCAAB: It's the Connecticut Huskies . . . Again

A look back at the 2024 NCAA Tournament champions with an eye towards future betting for who will hoist the crown in the 2025 NCAA Men's Basketball season.

The 2023-2024 college basketball season ended Monday. It was the Connecticut Huskies defeating the Purdue Boilermakers, 75-60, successfully defending their national title (sixth since 1999) while becoming the first school since the 2007 Florida Gators to go back-to-back. 

 . . . and not only did the Huskies win, they dismembered every team in their path. Over the last two tournaments, there wasn’t a game closer than 13 points. The margin of victory this time around was better than 23 points per game. 

Uconn Huskies back-to-back NCAA ChampionsIt wasn’t a fair fight in some games. UConn put together a 30-0 run (wraparound halftime) against Illinois in its Elite Eight rout. 

Coach Dan Hurley caught some flack during this run regarding his antics on the sideline, but je put together a roster that was unstoppable. With center Donovan Clingan in the paint and superior play in the backcourt, UConn didn’t give anyone else a shot. 

Clingan is 12-1 (+1200) to be the first player chosen, according to 2024 NBA draft odds.

Tristen Newton was named Most Outstanding Player (MOP) of the tournament, and he was huge (20 points, seven assists, five rebounds) in the win over Purdue. The team is going to see a number of players depart via the draft, but is expected to reload. 

Props to Edey

While the UConn Huskies rolled to a convincing win Monday evening, Purdue center Zach Edey was dominant in a losing effort. Edey, two-time player of the year, was a double-double machine throughout the tourney. He had 37 and 10 (points and rebounds) against the Huskies.

It was the first appearance by the Boilermakers in the title game since the Rick Mount-led squad lost to the UCLA dynasty of 1969. 

Despite losing Monday, Purdue did make amends after its 1-16 defeat at the hands of Fairleigh Dickinson in the tournament last season. Edey’s departure forces Purdue to (probably) visit the transfer portal as it looks to contend next season. 

Tourney Wasn’t Stunning 

Known as March Madness due to the unpredictable nature of the event, that wasn’t the case with the NCAA tournament this time around. There are double-digit seeds who made some noise (notably the North Carolina State Wolfpack), but the form held more often than not here.

UConn 2024 NCAA Mens basketball championBack to the 'Pack, whose Final Four berth (as a No. 11 seed) only came after winning the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. It was the Raleigh school’s first national semifinal since improbably winning it all back in 1983.  

Oakland (Michigan) and Yale were first-round winners as double-figure-seeds, having defeated now-John-Calipari-gone Kenucky and Auburn, respectively. Even though there’s more parity than ever in the sport, that didn’t translate in this tournament.  

Looking at 2024-25

It’s now officially time to begin looking ahead to next season, thus never too early to make those future wagers on the 2024-25 college basketball season.

Duke has opened as the 11-1 (+1100) favorites to win the title, that after the Blue Devils missed reaching the Final Four by a game this past season (blame those pesky Wolfpack).

Coach Jon Scheyer has a young returning/recruit squad, while the two-time defending champion Connecticut Huskies (12-1, [+1200]) are also going to look different next season.

The Kansas Jayhawks and North Carolina Tar Heels are each at 14-1 (+1400), as per 2024-25 men’s college basketball championship odds. The two programs rarely don’t contend. 

With the transfer portal changing the direction of college basketball, it would be wise to do your homework before making any wagers. Consider that our public service announcement. 

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