We’ve reached the pinnacle of the NCAA tournament for 2024, and by no real surprise, the two best teams all season long will meet to decide the tile, as UConn and Purdue hook up for what should be a classic matchup, at least on paper. I use that term “on paper,” as the experts behind the betting counter perhaps don’t see it being as competitive as the seed and season success metrics might show it to be. The Huskies are 6.5-point favorites at least check, and as you’ll see just below, that line has crossed a key threshold for predicting success based on recent trends. Let’s look closer at that particular angle and all of the rest of the qualified NCAA Championship game trends for Monday’s huge title tilt:

Championship Games

•  Championship game favorites of three points or more are on a 14-3 SU and 12-5 ATS (70.6%) run, while those favored by 2.5 or less are just 4-4 SU and ATS since ’98. Last year, UConn (-7.5) handled San Diego State rather comfortably, 76-59. (ON CONNECTICUT -6.5)


•  Only twice in the last 23 years did the championship-winning team not cover the spread (Duke against Butler in 2010, Kansas versus North Carolina in 2022). (ON OUTRIGHT WINNER)

•  Big East schools own a perfect 7-0 SU and ATS record in championship games since 2001 while Big Ten teams are winless at 0-7 SU and ATS. These trends last “collided” in the 2018 title game win by Villanova over Michigan. (ON CONNECTICUT/AGAINST PURDUE)

•  Bettors have gone just 6-10 ATS (37.5%) in their last 16 championship games when moving opening lines towards one team or the other. Last year, they won with UConn, moving the line from -6.5 to -7.5. This same group is on a 13-7 (65%) run when moving totals one way or the other. (AGAINST CONNECTICUT -6.5, ON UNDER 146 CON-PUR)

Big East

  • Big East schools own a perfect 7-0 SU and ATS record in championship games since 2001, including Connecticut’s win a year ago. (ON CONNECTICUT -6.5)
  • Top two seeded (#1 seed & #2 seed) from the Big East have validated their positions by going 27-6 SU and 24-9 ATS (72.7%) in the NCAAs since 2016. (ON CONNECTICUT -6.5)
  • In the Last eight NCAA tourney games between Big East & Big Ten teams featuring a point spread on -5.5 or higher, favorites are 6-2 SU and ATS (75%). (ON CONNECTICUT -6.5)
  • Favorites are 49-19 ATS (72.1%) in the last 68 Big East NCAA tourney games, including 21-5 ATS the last two years. (ON CONNECTICUT -6.5)

Big Ten

  • Big Ten teams are winless at 0-7 SU and ATS in the championship game since 2001. (AGAINST PURDUE +6.5)
  • Big Ten teams are on a 9-2 Under the total run (81.8%) run vs. Big East foes in the NCAA tourney. (UNDER 146 PUR-CON)
  • For as good as Big Ten teams have been in the big favorite role, they have been brutal as underdogs of 5.5-points or more in the tournament, 6-52 SU and 21-37 ATS (36.2%) since 1998. (AGAINST PURDUE +6.5)
  • In tourney games of the second round and later, Big Ten teams are just 22-34 SU and 23-31-2 ATS (42.6%) since 2017. (AGAINST PURDUE +6.5)

(675) PURDUE vs. (676) CONNECTICUT
UConn and Purdue have not met in head-to-head play since 2009, an NCAA tournament Sweet 16 contest won by the Huskies (-6.5) 72-60. However, head coach Dan Hurley’s team did go 2-0 SU and ATS versus Big Ten opponents in 2023-24, including a 77-52 win over Illinois in the Elite Eight round, a game in which the Huskies scored 30 consecutive points at one time. The Boilermakers were 2-0 SU and 1-1 ATS versus the Big East this season, including a 78-75 win over Marquette in the championship game of the Maui Invitational.