Repeat that once again: UConn in uncommon business with back-to-back nationwide

  • Pete Thamel, ESPNApr 9, 2024, 02:58 AM ET GLENDALE, Ariz.– UConn’s nationwide title game blowout of Purdue on Monday night didn’t unfold with a thunderclap run, a particular herculean effort or a defining moment.It unfolded as a

    fitting tribute to the historical group that executed it– a suffocating defense that gradually cut off the oxygen from the Boilermakers ‘backcourt, a balanced offense with four double-digit scorers and a protective strategy carried out with precision.A flurry of intense lights led coach Dan Hurley and

    the Huskies to their shining minute, as UConn won back-to-back national championships and delivered the school’s sixth title, all considering that 1999. Editor’s Picks 2 Related And as No. 1 total seed UConn tidily dispatched fellow 1-seed Purdue 75-60, the

    Huskies completed another dramaless NCAA competition game, securing a record 12th consecutive double-digit win in the Big Dance.The tensionless second half left the higher college basketball world with just one remaining drama to consider: Where does this two-year UConn run

    rank among the all-time repeat entertainers in the sport? And must this UConn group be thought about amongst the all-time greats?UConn finished this tournament winning its 6 games by an average of 23.3 points. The 140 integrated points they won those 6 games by blows away the next most dominant title winner, which was North Carolina winning by an overall of 125 in 2009.”I just believe it’s the best two-year run, I think, in a really, long time just because of whatever we lost from last year’s team, “Hurley stated.”To lose that much and, once again, to do what we did once again

    , it’s got to be as outstanding a two-year run as a program’s had considering that prior to whoever did it before Duke.”UConn’s title group in 2023 won by approximately 20 points per game or 120 total points. UConn lost five of its leading eight scorers from that group. And maybe the most compelling argument for the particular dominance of this

    run is that the groups UConn did it with were completely different, a sign of the distinctly various era they accomplished it in. The previous 2 groups to go back-to-back before UConn were Billy Donovan’s Florida squads in 2006 and 2007 and Mike Krzyzewski’s Duke groups in 1991 and 1992.”To me, it is more excellent than what Florida and Duke did because they restored their whole teams,” Hurley said.”We lost some significant players.”Regardless of different workers and different eras, UConn displayed unprecedented supremacy. No other group in NCAA history has won

    all six NCAA competition games by 13 or more. UConn did it back-to-back. play 1:12 Bilas: What Dan Hurley’s doing at UConn is really exceptional Jay Bilas and Jay Williams describe how Dan Hurley’s mentality and management have translated to championships for UConn.So, where should we consider this UConn run in the history of the NCAA competition? Comparing groups and eras is tricky, as the paradigms of player retention and the length of time players remain in school have altered significantly.It’s certain

    UConn is at least amongst the generational greats, as the scope of its supremacy within its era is unmatched.Would UConn beat the Florida teams with Joakim Noah

    , Al Horford and Corey Maker? Those arguments are for Last Four barstools in all time, but it’s difficult to argue that these Huskies showed regularly better in the NCAA competition than those Gators groups performed in their era.Top stories of the week from Get special access to thousands of premium articles a year from top writers. – CBB: How 3 teams can stop UConn”- Barnwell: NFL draft QB hits, misses” – What Rockets’finish says about the West”More ESPN +content”Is UConn better than the Duke teams led by Bobby Hurley– the brother of the Huskies’coach– and Krzyzewski? That debate is

    for the Hurley family Thanksgiving table, but that comparison is challenging because the Blue Devils had 8 players on the 1992 lineup who eventually were

    drafted.”I can’t say anything about Duke because I’m going to piss my brother off,”Dan Hurley said. “However I think I can state stuff about Florida. However I love Billy Donovan. So, I remain in a bad area.”What has actually separated UConn and will catapult this run amongst the greats is

    that it hasn’t been defined by a star player or a rigid system.Instead, it has played with a constant fire, a relentlessness that matches how its coach pleads with the referees and a clarity that does not change with the lessens of the scoreboard. “Not everyone can do what they simply did,”Boilermakers coach Matt Painter said, referencing the canceling of Purdue’s guard play.This UConn group won with Tristen Newton’s imagination, Cam Spencer’s vigor, Stephon Castle’s defensive mettle, Alex Karaban’s versatility and Donovan Clingan’s looming existence. It won with backup center Samson Johnson transforming lobs and backup guard Hassan Diarra scoring 9 points on Monday night, crucial contributions when the game was still a game.Clingan and Castle are projected in the leading 20 of this year’s NBA draft as UConn’s only surefire first-round choices and perhaps the only draft tease this lineup. Maybe what will define this UConn team when history reflects on it is that the amount ended up better than the collection of high-end parts. Get your favorite live sports, stories and originals with ESPN +, Disney+and Hulu. Update to a Disney Bundle strategy and start streaming something for everybody today! Jointly, the Huskies were a hammer that simply kept pounding opponents into submission. They eliminated Purdue’s border offense, pulled away thanks to 14 offensive rebounds and shared the ball enough for 18 helps on their 30 baskets. They scored out of timeouts with consistency, didn’t flinch when groups made runs and never fluctuated when the stakes got greater and higher.Much of that unflappability can go back to Hurley, who now has his name together with some of the greats in the sport

    . Along with Donovan and Krzyzewski, the only other coaches to win back-to-back NCAA titles are John Wooden (UCLA), Ed Jucker(Cincinnati ), Phil Woolpert( San Francisco), Adolph Rupp(Kentucky

    )and Henry Iba( Oklahoma State). And UConn has a strong claim that the program has actually been the very best in college basketball over the last generation, with its six titles coming in the past 25 years. While other programs have been more constant over that quarter century, none has won at that high of a level.UConn athletic director David Benedict called it a”historic program “and said there’s a gratitude for how UConn endured through

    3 straight NCAA tournament misses from 2017 to 2019.”To bring it back in the fashion that we did and be in a scenario where you went from winning four championship games, having a long hiatus, which I think there were a great deal of individuals that may’ve written us off for good,”Benedict said.”Therefore for us, for our coaches, for our fans, I think this is a very proud day.”A day that pushes UConn into a dispute with some of the greatest runs in the history of the sport.

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