The 2024 NCAA Tournament national championship game will be hosted at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., and 2023 champion Connecticut has opened as the +1200 favorite to cut down the nets for the second year in a row at Caesars Sportsbook – although that favored status may depend on Adama Sanogo not declaring for the NBA Draft. The last men's repeat hoops champion was Florida in 2007.
Coach Dan Hurley's squad completed one of the most dominant NCAA Tournament runs in history with Monday's 76-59 win over No. 5 San Diego State, winning all six of their games in the Big Dance by at least 13 points (6-0 against the spread). UConn won those six by an average of 20.0 points per game, the fourth-largest average win margin since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985. The Huskies improved to 5-0 all-time in national title games. UConn played 240 minutes in six tournament games and trailed for just 31:00 of game time (13%), including only 55 seconds in the second half. It finished the season 17-0 against non-conference opponents and won every game by double digits.
The fourth-seeded Huskies entered this year's tournament with +1500 odds to win the national championship at Caesars. They became the biggest pre-tournament long shot to win it all since Villanova won the 2016 championship at +3500. That Villanova title also was won at NRG Stadium in Houston.
Will Sanogo return to Storrs? The junior center was named the NCAA Tournament's Most Outstanding Player, averaging 19.7 points and 9.8 rebounds per game with four double-doubles. The only UConn big man to earn MOP honors from the Final Four before Sanogo was Emeka Okafor in 2004.
Sanogo would be among the preseason National Player of the Year favorites if he does return, and Sanogo isn't currently considered a top NBA prospect as he's not listed among the Top 54 this year on the CBS Sports Big Board. The four previous UConn players to win MOP, Shabazz Napier, Kemba Walker, Okafor and Richard Hamilton, all went to the NBA Draft immediately after winning their titles.
The Athletic is reporting it's likely that Sanogo is gone in part because his NIL options are limited as an international player. Guard Jordan Hawkins is ranked No. 31 on the CBS Sports Big Board and likely to turn pro. The early entry deadline for underclassmen wishing to declare for the draft is April 23.
The 2023-24 college basketball season is scheduled to tip off on Monday, Nov. 6. The Champions Classic is Nov. 14 in Chicago and features Michigan State vs. Duke and Kansas vs. Kentucky.
Caesars Sportsbook Favorites To Win 2024 NCAA Tournament
- UConn +1200
- Kansas +1500
- UCLA +1600
- Duke +1600
- Kentucky +1800
- Arizona +2000
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