Dan Hurley and his Huskies took Purdue’s bread and butter and killed Purdue with it to win Monday night’s national championship.

UConn beat the Boilermakers 75-60 in the 2024 National Championship Game, becoming the first team since Florida in 2006-07 to repeat as national champs and capping a historic run of dominance over the sport. UConn has won 12 straight NCAA Tournament games — all of them by double digits. Purdue was supposed to be a test, a true equal, led by 7-foot-4 national player of the year Zach Edey.

Edey had 37 points and 10 rebounds and Purdue was never much of a threat throughout the second half.

“We didn’t want to give up 3s. We didn’t care if Zach took 25, 28 shots to get 30, 35 points,” Hurley told reporters after the game. “This whole gameplan was no Smith, no Loyer, no Gillis, no Jones. Keep that collective group under 18, 20 points, as a group, they had no chance to win no matter how well Zach played.”

Purdue entered into Monday’s title fight averaging 8.3 made 3-pointers a game while putting up 20.6 a night. The Boilermakers’ first 3 didn’t come until 17 minutes and 42 seconds had come off the first-half clock.

They finished the game with 1 make on 7 attempts.

All tourney long, the talk surrounding Purdue was that no one had been able to handle both — Edey inside or the Boilermakers’ elite 3-point shooting around him. Edey entered Monday averaging 28 points a game and had posted 11 assists, including 4 in the Final Four victory over NC State. Double Edey and the outside shooters would bury teams. Play Edey straight up and the big man would maul you.

UConn not only had the gameplan, but it had the means to execute. Donovan Clingan, a 7-foot-2 center with a 7-7 wingspan, could handle Edey inside. And UConn’s supersized perimeter kept Purdue’s guards from being able to create anything.

The defensive scheme was able to force some bad pull-up shots from the midrange by Braden Smith that missed. (Smith shot 4-for-12.) And the Huskies were in Edey’s head all night.

Clingan would guard him 1-on-1 for a few possessions, Edey would try and work his way to his hook shot, and then suddenly UConn would send an immediate double team on consecutive possessions. Then it was back to straight-up.

Edey air-balled a free throw, his body language sank in the second half, and late when the 6-foot-8 Alex Karaban gave Edey the baseline to get to his left and get an easy bucket, Edey instead forced his way to his right hand and missed a baby hook. All the signs of a frazzled offense were there.

Fletcher Loyer missed all 5 of his shots and went scoreless for the first time in his Purdue career. Mason Gillis missed each of his 2 shots and was held scoreless. Lance Jones was held to 5 points, his lowest total since March 2.

“For us to get them to change, we had to get the lead, get ’em on their heels, and then get in that 10-minute mark. We couldn’t get there,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “They just made a decision, like, we can defend the perimeter and we can take this away from you, then you’re just going to get the ball to your best player, he’s going to be 1-on-1, then that’s that. They were going to live with that.

“… Not everybody can do what they just did.”

UConn ended the season 37-3, winning 13 straight and 27 of its last 28 games. The Huskies finished first in adjusted offensive efficiency and fourth in adjusted defensive efficiency, per KenPom — the first champ to finish top-5 in both categories since 2019.

Purdue could surely look at the result as the perfect storm; the 1 team best equipped to take the Boilers down is the team the Boilers met at the end. But UConn can also look at this as evidence that, right now, they have no equal in college basketball.

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