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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

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Uconn dominates NCAA tournament, earns “blue blood” status

The UConn Huskies win the 2024 National Championship after a dominant tournament run (Nathan Rich)

They did it again. The University of Connecticut men’s basketball became the first team to repeat as national champions since the University of Florida in 2007. The Huskies dominated the Purdue Boilermakers en route to the program’s sixth national championship. In fact, this group dominated every team they faced in this tournament, beating each opposing university by at least 14 points

The game may have been competitive in the first half — similar to UConn’s victory over University of Alabama in the Final Four — but as soon as Dan Hurley’s squad came out in the second they suffocated Purdue’s offense. While UConn never effectively shut down Zach Edey, Purdue’s guard play and any shooting presences on the wing became obsolete. 

UConn’s roster is exceptionally deep and involves constant rotations, specifically at the center position. Hurley rotated between defensive superstar Donovan Clingan and athletic backup Samson Johnson frequently to do his best at containing Edey. Guard Cam Spencer played with a level of tenacity that felt like he wanted it more than any other player on the court. 

In addition to Spencer, guards Stephon Castle and Tristen Newton both handled the ball supremely well and allowed UConn to pick apart Purdue’s defense. Newton was the Final Four’s most outstanding player and dropped a team-high 20 points to accompany seven assists in the final game. 

Hurley’s style of team basketball involves relentless ball-screens on offense and frequent double teams on defense and has wreaked havoc on college basketball. With a strong incoming recruiting class and a decent amount of returning talent, UConn hopes to remain at the top of the ranks of college basketball next season.

The question has now been answered as to whether or not the University of Connecticut is a blue-blood basketball program. Without a doubt, UConn men’s basketball has graduated to that status. 

For those unaware, blue-blood programs in NCAA men’s basketball are the most elite programs, college basketball’s royalty. The term ‘blue blood’ is likely derived from an old thought process that noble people had blue blood in their veins. For a long time, the programs considered to be blue-bloods have been University of North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA and Indiana

Recently, both UConn and Villanova have been making strong cases to join this elite group. The consensus among sports writers and fans is that UConn has officially replaced Indiana as a member of the college basketball royal family. Indiana hasn’t found success anytime recently and their most recent national championship victory dates back to 1987. UConn on the other hand is now tied with UNC for third most titles ever with six total, four of them since 2011. They’ve won the last two titles and enjoyed a period of prosperity from 2011-2014 with two national championships being brought on the shoulders of legendary guards Kemba Walker and Shabazz Napier, respectively. 

This continued success over four consecutive decades is no easy feat to accomplish. This long-standing question is no longer up for debate and UConn is officially a blue blood.

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