The Connecticut Huskies enter Monday’s night NCAA Men’s College Basketball National Championship Game as a considerable favorite in the eyes of analysts, oddsmakers and countless fans.
Connecticut found itself in this spot throughout much of the tournament, a label that will follow a team that won each of its five games by double digits. A 28-point beatdown of Gonzaga earned the Huskies a trip to the Final Four in Houston. Following that game, and other results in the tournament, Dan Hurley’s bunch jumped to the top betting line as the favorite to win it all.
FanDuel Sportsbook lists Connecticut as a 7.5-point favorite ahead of the National Championship Game against the San Diego State Aztecs. The Huskies, however, aren’t viewing it that way and it seems a message from UConn alum Ray Allen earlier this season has fueled that mindset.
“Ray said to us, ‘It’s the will demand, not the skill demand,'” Connecticut senior Nahiem Alleyne told reporters, per FOX’s John Fanta. “Who’s going to bring that firepower? I feel like we’re going to bring that. It’s all about the will right now.”
Allen, who went on to have a Hall of Fame basketball career and won an NBA championship with the Boston Celtics, played at Connecticut from 1993 to 1996.
Connecticut has dominated its tournament competition and is just the sixth team since tournament expansion in 1985 to enter the title game with all five wins coming by double-figures, per Fanta. The Huskies won those five games by a combined 103 points.
The Huskies and Aztecs will take the floor at NRG Stadium in Houston with tip-off set for 9:20 p.m. ET.