Uconn clear hoops favorite

By Chris Havlicek

Updated 2/19/24 4:50pm ET

Top-ranked and defending men’s basketball champion UConn has separated itself as the clear betting favorite to repeat. The Huskies, riding a 14-game win streak, are +450 at FanDuel.

Through all the chaos of college basketball’s conference play over the past several weeks, two constants remained: UConn and Purdue sat atop futures boards as national title co-favorites. Connecticut hadn’t lost since Dec. 20, and the Boilermakers hadn’t lost since Jan. 9 … until Sunday afternoon.

Purdue saw its nine-game win streak snapped at Ohio State, 73-69, in the Buckeyes’ first game since firing head coach Chris Holtmann. The Boilermakers entered the day ranked No. 1 in ESPN’s Strength of Record and KPI, No. 2 in BPI, and No. 3 in KenPom. They were tied with UConn for the most Quadrant 1 wins in the country and ahead of the Huskies for the most Quad 1 and 2 wins.

UConn extended the nation’s best-winning streak to 14 games on Saturday by dismantling No. 4 Marquette, 81-53, in a crucial Big East showdown. The Huskies used a 13-0 run late in the first half to take control and never let the Golden Eagles within 16 points in the second half.

The Huskies (24-2, 14-1 Big East) landed as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament selection committee’s in-season Bracket Preview earlier in the day and looked every bit the part. Purdue drops a spot in the latest poll to No. 3. But the odds gap has widened between it and the No. 1 Huskies, with No. 3 Houston right on the Boilermakers’ heels.

National Championship Odds: (courtesy of Fanduel)

Connecticut +450

Purdue +800

Houston +900

Arizona +1100

Tennessee + 1300

North Carolina +2000

Alabama +2000

Auburn +2000

Iowa State +2000

Duke +2500

Photo Courtesy: Icon Sportswire

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