The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

2024 Commencement Student Speaker: Lea Tarzy
Alexandra Slofkiss: 2024 Commencement Soloist
Outstanding Senior Award: Bernadette Maramis
Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: Gloria Sporea

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Excellence in Athletics Award: Meghan Quinn

Excellence in Athletics Award: Meghan Quinn

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Excellence in the Arts Award: Joselyn Busato

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Beyond the Bison: UConn takes down Purdue in Men’s Basketball National Championship

Evelyn+Pierce%2C+Graphics+Manager+%2F+The+Bucknellian
Evelyn Pierce, Graphics Manager / The Bucknellian

#1 overall seed UConn defeated fellow #1 seed Purdue 75-60 in the 2024 Men’s College Basketball National Championship on Monday night. With this win, the Huskies sealed its sixth national championship in history and second straight title. 

UConn won this game with intelligence and the exact game plan to make Purdue vulnerable. It wasn’t to try to shut down Zach Edey, because that’s never going to happen. It took away everyone besides Zach Edey.

Purdue was the second-best three point shooting team this season based off of percentage at 40.2% as a team. The Boilermakers also attempted close to 17 three point shots a game, so it was a big part of their offense. UConn went into this game and took away absolutely everything Purdue could get from the outside.

One of the biggest advantages of having a player like Edey is forcing opposing teams to double team him, then with the great passing vision that Edey has, he’s able to kick the ball right out for an open outside look or a driving opportunity for a teammate. But, with fellow 7-footer Donovan Clingan containing Edey, at least as much as possible, they didn’t need a double team.

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Edey went for 37 points and 10 rebounds, a pretty unbelievable stat line in the national championship. The issue was, UConn’s scheme worked, and the rest of the team was shut down.

The Boilermakers’ backcourt trio of Braden Smith, Fletcher Loyer and Lance Jones combined for 17 points on 6-20 shooting. UConn ferociously took away any lateral movement or driving lanes for any of the Purdue guards trying to operate on their own. The experienced leaders for the Huskies in Tristen Newton Cam Spencer brought all the intensity needed to shut down this tough Purdue team.

UConn has now won six national championships, back-to-back national championships in 2023 and 2024, becoming the eighth team to ever do so. Now, it’s time to consider if this Huskies team is the best team in the history of college basketball.

I really don’t think there has been a team so dominant for such a long period of time. This season, UConn went 37-3, won the Big East regular season title, won the Big East Tournament title and won the national championship. On top of that, out of the 37 games UConn won, 29 of them were won by double digits. It was near impossible for anyone to compete with them all season.

UConn won each game in the 2024 tournament by an average of 18 points, something that’s never been done before. It faced a 1 seed, 3 seed, 4 seed, and 5 seed, and no team came within 15 of the Huskies. It had a +140 point margin throughout the tournament, the biggest margin in history.

There have been teams that have won as consistently as UConn, but I don’t think there’s ever been a team that dominates everyone in its way like this Huskies team did.

It’s a great time to be a UConn fan, and now we look to see where Dan Hurley will take this squad in 2025.

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Hugh Straine
Hugh Straine, Sports Co-Editor

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