On Monday, April 8th, the Purdue Boilermakers will take on the Connecticut Huskies in the Championship Game of the 2024 NCAA Tournament. The Boilermakers earned a 63-50 win over the NC State Wolfpack in their Final Four game, while the Huskies picked up an 86-72 victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide. Purdue, which made the Final Four for the first time in head coach Matt Painter’s time as head coach of the program, is looking to win its first national title ever. Meanwhile, UConn is looking to be the first team to win back-to-back titles since the Florida Gators did it in 2006 and 2007. With that in mind, keep reading for our preview and predictions for how this game will shake out when the two go to battle at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

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How to Watch Purdue vs. UConn

When: 9:20 p.m. ET on Monday, April 8th

Where: State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ

Watch: TBS

Odds for Purdue vs. UConn

(odds current at time of publish)

Spread: UConn -6

Total: 147.5

DraftKings Betting Splits | Live College Basketball Odds | Purdue vs. UConn Matchup

Purdue vs. UConn Preview & Prediction

While UConn is looking to win its second NCAA Tournament in a row, Purdue is looking to become the first Big Ten team to win one since Michigan State did it in 2000.

On paper, the Boilermakers look like they have a puncher’s chance. According to Bart Torvik, Purdue is the second-ranked team in the nation when it comes to adjusted offensive efficiency. The Boilermakers also happen to be a top-15 group when it comes to adjusted defensive efficiency. And overall, only two teams in college basketball rank higher when it comes to overall power ratings. The only problem for the Boilermakers is that one of those teams is this Huskies group, which is first in the nation in Bart Torvik’s power ratings.

This season, UConn is first in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency and fourth in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency. That gives UConn a better statistical profile than last year’s team, as that championship squad finished third in adjusted offensive efficiency and ninth in adjusted defensive efficiency. And the reality is that this team also looks better when you factor in the eye test. The Huskies also happen to match up quite well with the Boilermakers.

With Purdue, everything starts with 7-foot-4 big man Zach Edey, who averages 25.0 points and 12.2 rebounds per game on 62.4% shooting from the floor. Edey is one of the most dominant low-post bigs in the history of college basketball. And his presence on the court allows the Boilermakers to shoot a ton of uncontested 3s, which is why Purdue shoots the second-highest 3-point percentage in basketball at 40.6%. The problem here is that UConn happens to have one of the only guys in the country that can contain Edey on an island.

Donovan Clingan, a 7-foot-2 center that is projected to go in the lottery in the 2024 NBA Draft, has blocked nine shots over the last two games. He’s viewed as the best interior defender in the nation. If Clingan can just avoid foul trouble in this game, the Boilermakers are going to be in some trouble. The Huskies are second in the nation in 2P% defense this season, and they’re going to do everything they can to smother Edey when he catches the ball inside. And not only can Clingan make Edey work for everything, but the Huskies are also a top-30 team when it comes to 3P% defense — and they have only turned things up since the start of March Madness.

UConn also has a very talented backcourt, with Stephon Castle, Tristen Newton and Cam Spencer all being excellent. And Dan Hurley, who is currently cementing himself as one of the best coaches of all time, could opt to let the group get out and run. Purdue has been guilty of playing too slow in the past, and these Huskies guards have the ability to beat the Boilermakers down the floor and make things even tougher on them. UConn plays at one of the slowest tempos in college basketball, but that has nothing to do with the team’s personnel. The Huskies are fully capable of winning with an uptempo brand of basketball, and Hurley will exploit every advantage he can.

It’s also hard to overlook the impact Alex Karaban can have on this game. He’s an absolute sniper from 3-point land, and he’s a superb decision maker on the floor. If Purdue tries to junk up the game in any way, UConn will go to Karaban to pick apart whatever defense the Boilermakers throw out here.

The reality with this game is that the Boilermakers are a great team, but the Huskies might be historically great. UConn is also 12-0 against the spread in the tournament over the last two years, and nobody has really put a scare in this squad. Of course, Purdue is 23-13 ATS in the tournament since Painter became the head coach of the program. So, the Boilermakers have largely done their jobs in tournament games, even if they were a punching bag heading into this year. But almost everything would have to break right in order for Purdue to have a shot here. And it should be noted that Braden Smith, Purdue’s second-best player, looked shell-shocked against NC State in the Final Four. If he doesn’t show up in a big way, UConn might blow this game open.

Estimated Score: UConn 76, Purdue 72

For expert predictions, go to our college basketball best bets page.