Connect with us

2024 Men's Final Four

UConn, Purdue ready for high-octane national championship battle

© Alex Martin/Journal and Courier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Two No. 1 seeded colleges will put everything they worked for this season on the line in the men’s national championship, UConn vs. Purdue.

Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!

In a heavily anticipated matchup with both these powerhouses, the reigning national champions UConn will look to repeat as they have won five times in program history.  As for Purdue, the Boilermakers are seeking their first one ever.

“UConn is a very, very good basketball team,” Purdue head coach Matt Painter said. “Very good defensively and run a lot of good stuff offensively. They’ve done a phenomenal job to win the [2023] national championship and to be back in this position. I think there are a lot of things that come with their ultimate success, to be able to piece a team together and to compete for multiple championships in the conference, and the [Big East] tournament and to keep that focus. There have been teams that have hung in with them, but they separated from them and other teams that have been flat-out blitzed.”

On Saturday, Purdue won 63-50 over No. 11 NC State after a dominant second-half display and UConn did the same with a high-scoring, 86-72 victory against No. 4 Alabama. All five Huskies starters scored double-digit points against the Crimson Tide while Boilermakers big-man Zach Edey netted 20 on the Wolfpack.

This star-studded matchup will showcase an eye-catching battle between Edey and UConn’s Donovan Clinigan. Edey has won back-to-back National Player of the Year honors while Clinigan is to be one of the top picks in the 2024 NBA Draft.

If UConn does end up winning a second title in consecutive years, it will be the first program to do so since the University of Florida did back in 2006-07.

“After last year, we expected to be here,” Huskies guard Tristen Newton said. “We wouldn’t settle for anything less than a national championship. We’ve still got one more to go, and we’re excited.”

Newton’s teammate Cam Spencer gave credit to Purdue for making it to this stage, and believes his team is ready for the challenge.

“I think it is a great matchup between two teams who have had great years, we have a lot of respect for them as a program,” Spencer said. “They are in the national championship for a reason. I am sure people have been waiting to see this one for a while. We are locked in and ready to go.”

The national championship game between Purdue and UConn takes place inside State Farm Stadium tonight at 6:20 PT.

‘It’s been everything I could ask for’, NC State’s DJ Burns Jr. reflects on historic season

*Get the BEST Phoenix sports insider information, exclusive content, and access to our seasonal magazines! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our premium content!*

Reporter Alec Cipollini covers Phoenix Sports News for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account, @AlecCipollini

More in 2024 Men's Final Four