Connecticut is a 6.5-point favorite over Purdue in the national championship game on Monday night, according to most sports books.

Both the Huskies and Boilermakers have been dominant en route to the title game. UConn held a 30+ point lead in each of its first 4 wins of this Tournament and has an average margin-of-victory of 25 points. Dating back to last season’s national title run, UConn has won 11 NCAA Tournament games in a row by double digits.

Purdue has won its 5 games by an average of 19.8 points per contest. With the exception of its Elite Eight win over Alabama, all but 1 of Purdue’s wins in the Big Dance have come by double digits.

It’s exceptionally rare to see a point spread this large for a national championship game between No. 1 seeds. This is the largest point spread this century between No. 1-seeded teams in the national title game.

Here’s a look at the spread for every No. 1 vs. No. 1 national title game since 1997:

Year Favorite Underdog Spread Who covered?
2024 UConn Purdue -6.5 ???
2021 Gonzaga Baylor -4.5 Underdog
2017 UNC Gonzaga -1 Favorite
2015 Wisconsin Duke -1 Underdog
2008 Memphis Kansas -2 Underdog
2007 Florida Ohio State -4 Favorite
2005 UNC Illinois -2 Favorite
1999 Duke UConn -9.5 Underdog

Every national championship game between No. 1 seeds between 2024 and 1998 had a point spread of 4.5 points or fewer, except for one — Connecticut vs. Duke in 1999. The Huskies were nearly double-digit underdogs in that game as they faced off against a Duke team loaded with NBA talent.

According to KenPom’s adjusted efficiency margin ratings, that ’99 Blue Devils team is still, to this day, the best college basketball team of the KenPom era (since ’97). Duke posted an adjusted efficiency margin of +43.01 that season. No other team in KenPom’s database has hit +38, which means that 1999 Duke team is more than 5 points per 100 possessions better (against the average D-1 opponent) than any other team in the KenPom era.

Of course, it’s worth remembering that Duke lost the 1999 championship game outright to UConn despite being favored by 9.5 points. Over a 7-game sample, underdogs are 4-3 straight up and 4-3 against the spread in matchups between No. 1 seeds in the national final since 1997.

The 2024 UConn team is not quite at the level of 1999 Duke from an efficiency perspective, but they’re about as close as anyone else has been since then. Entering Monday night’s game, UConn has an adjusted efficiency margin of +35.65. In the last 20 years, there have only been 3 teams to clear +35 in this metric: 2008 Kansas, 2015 Kentucky and 2021 Gonzaga. Of that bunch, however, only that ’08 Jayhawks team went on to win the national championship.

Purdue is an elite team in its own right. Per KenPom, it has adjusted efficiency margin of +31.31. That’s good enough for No. 2 in the country this year behind the Huskies and would be good enough for No. 1 in a lot of recent seasons (including both 2023 and 2022).

Fans who are looking to bet on the Huskies in this spot can get UConn -6 (-110) at DraftKings. If you’re looking to back Purdue, the Boilermakers are +6.5 (-110) at bet365.

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Tipoff between these 2 elite teams is set for 9:20 p.m. ET on Monday night.