UConn completed its historic NCAA Tournament run with a 75-60 win over No. 1 seed Purdue in the national championship game on Monday in Glendale, Arizona. The Huskies became the first No. 1 overall seed to win the national title since Louisville in 2013. They accomplished that feat while recording the second-highest points per game differential (23.3) in NCAA Tournament history. The Huskies steamrolled the competition, winning all six NCAA Tournament games by at least 10 points for the second consecutive season.

UConn trailed for a total of just 6:22 in the entire tournament and were never behind after halftime. Purdue made an early push led by star big man Zach Edey, but UConn used a balanced scoring attack from Tristen Newton, Stephon Castle, and Cam Spencer to pull away.

UConn completed the repeat despite losing Adama Sanogo, Jordan Hawkins, and Andre Jackson Jr. to the NBA after last season. The Huskies reloaded by adding Cam Spencer from the transfer portal and star freshman Stephon Castle from the high school ranks. Those players joined All-American guard, Tristen Newton, big man Donovan Clingan, and sharpshooter Alex Karaban to form one of the top starting units in the country.

Year (Record)CoachFuture NBA playersRoad to the national title
2023 (31-8)  
Dan Hurley
Adama Sanogo
Jordan Hawkins
Andre Jackson
First round: 87-63 win vs. (13) Iona
Second round: 70-55 win vs. (5) Saint Mary's
Sweet 16: 88-65 win vs. (8) Arkansas
Elite Eight: 82-54 win vs. (3) Gonzaga
Final Four: 72-59 win vs. (5) Miami
NCAA title game: 76-59 win vs. (5) San Diego State
2024 (37-3)
Dan Hurley
TBDFirst round: 91-52 win vs. (16) Stetson
Second round: 75-58 win vs. (9) Northwestern
Sweet 16: 82-52 win vs. (5) San Diego State
Elite Eight: 77-52 win vs. (3) Illinois
Final Four: 86-72 win vs. (4) Alabama
NCAA title game: 75-60 win vs. (1) Purdue

There's no denying UConn's dominance has earned it a seat at the table when discussing the greatest two-year college basketball runs of all time. But how do the Huskies compare to the two other modern back-to-back tournament champs Duke (1991-92) and Florida (2006-07)? Let's have a look at the history of repeat title winners and rank the three modern repeat title runs. 

Repeat after me

The first team to repeat as national champions was Oklahoma A&M (now known as Oklahoma State) in 1945 and 1946. Kentucky was the second after capturing back-to-back national championships in 1948 and 1949.

UCLA has the most national championships in men's basketball (11) and most came in the 1960s. The Bruins are the only school to repeat as champions more than once. Future NBA players Gail Goodrich, Walt Hazzard, and Keith Erickson helped UCLA become the fifth school to accomplish the feat when they captured titles in 1964 and 1965. The Bruins continued their dominance into the early 1970s when they won seven consecutive titles from 1967-1973 under legendary coach John Wooden. 

Former Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski won his first national title in 1991 with a roster full of future NBA players such as Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley, Grant Hill, Brian Davis, and Antonio Lang. The Blue Devils would defeat Michigan in the national championship game the following season after most of their core returned to school.

Then there's Florida — the second-to-last team to win consecutive titles. The Gators had six future NBA players on their roster (Taurean Green, Al Horford, Corey Brewer, Joakim Noah, Chris Richard, and Marreese Speights) that helped lead the school to back-to-back championship wins over UCLA and Ohio State. 

NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Florida v OSU
Getty Images

How Florida was able to repeat in 2007

Year (Record)
Future NBA players Road to the national title
2006 (33-6)
Billy Donovan
Taurean Green
Al Horford
Corey Brewer
Joakim Noah
Chris Richard
Marreese Speights
First round: 75-50 win vs. (14) South Alabama
Second round: 82-60 win vs. (11) UW-Milwaukee
Sweet 16: 57-53 win vs. (7) Georgetown
Elite Eight: 75-62 win vs. (1) Villanova
Final Four: 73-58 win vs. (11) George Mason
NCAA title game: 73-57 win vs. (2) UCLA
2007 (35-5)
Billy Donovan
Taurean Green
Al Horford
Corey Brewer
Joakim Noah
Chris Richard
Marreese Speights
First round: 112-69 win vs. (16) Jackson State
Second round: 74-67 win vs. (9) Purdue
Sweet 16: 65-57 win vs. (5) Butler
Elite Eight: 85-77 win vs. (3) Oregon
Final Four: 76-66 win vs. (2) UCLA
NCAA title game: 84-75 win vs. (1) Ohio State

Florida returned all five starters and debuted as the preseason No. 1 team in the Associated Press Top 25 poll before the 2006-07 season began. Noah, Horford, and Brewer bypassed the NBA Draft to return to school for another season, and that decision paid off big time. All three players went in the top 10 of the 2007 NBA Draft and left the school with another championship ring.

Florida started 11-0 in SEC play before losing its first conference game of the season to Vanderbilt. The Gators would go on to lose two of their next three games before firing off 10 straight wins en route to another championship. Florida opened the NCAA Tournament with a 112-69 win over Jackson State and knocked off Purdue, Butler, and Oregon on its way to the Final Four in Atlanta.

In a rematch of the 2006 title game, Florida eliminated UCLA with a 76-66 win in the national semifinals before taking down a Greg Oden-led Ohio State team 84-75. Florida coach Billy Donovan would coach eight more seasons in Gainesville before taking a job as the coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2015.


How Duke was able to repeat in 1992

Year (Record)
Future NBA players Road to the national title
1991 (32-7)
Mike Krzyzewski
Christian Laettner
Bobby Hurley
Grant Hill
Brian Davis
Antonio Lang
First round: 102-73 win vs. (15) Northeast Louisiana
Second round: 85-70 win vs. (7) Iowa
Sweet 16: 81-67 win vs. (11) UConn
Elite Eight: 78-61 win vs. (4) St. John's
Final Four: 79-77 win vs. (1) UNLV
NCAA title game: 72-65 win vs. (3) Kansas
1992 (34-2)
Mike Krzyzewski
Christian Laettner
Bobby Hurley
Grant Hill
Brian Davis
Antonio Lang
First round: 82-56 win vs. (16) Campbell
Second round: 75-62 win vs. (9) Iowa
Sweet 16: 81-69 win vs. (4) Seton Hall
Elite Eight: 104-103 win vs. (2) Kentucky
Final Four: 81-78 win vs. (2) Indiana
NCAA title game: 71-51 win vs. (6) Michigan

Duke became the first repeat champion since UCLA won seven consecutive titles by knocking off Michigan 71-51 in the final game of the 1991-92 NCAA Tournament. The journey getting to the Final Foul in Minneapolis wasn't easy. The Blue Devils survived a nail-biter in the Elite Eight against Kentucky to advance. Laettner hit one of the most iconic shots in college basketball history against the Wildcats — a turnaround jumper at the buzzer to seal a 104-103 win in overtime.

Like Florida, Duke opened the season as the consensus No. 1 ranked team in the AP poll and held the top spot all 18 weeks. Laettner would earn multiple honors: the Oscar Robertson Trophy, Wooden Award, Naismith Award, Adolph Rupp Trophy, and more. Laettner is the only player to start in the Final Four four consecutive seasons.

Now that we've laid out all the information. It's time to see how these three impressive squads compare to each other. 

Ranking modern back-to-back title winners

1. UConn

There's more than just recency bias behind the claim that UConn is the best program to win back-to-back titles in the modern era. Historic data backs it up. After the Huskies lost several key rotation players from its championship team in 2023, they reloaded. Frankly, UConn got better. The Huskies finished with the best tournament point differential (+140) of all time, surpassing Kentucky's previous record of +129 during its run to the national title in 1996. The main reason UConn is No. 1 is how it won all 12 tournament games. The Huskies rarely trailed and kicked it into second gear when their opponent would go on a run. Before last season, Indiana (1981-82) held the record for the most consecutive NCAA Tournament wins by at least 13 points (six). The Huskies shattered that mark and left no doubt about their place in history.

2. Florida 

Florida's first championship run nearly came to a premature end against Georgetown in the Sweet 16. The Gators trailed by two at halftime, and Brewer converted a three-point play with 27.5 seconds left to secure a trip to the Elite Eight. Florida's average margin of victory during its first championship run was 15. That average dipped slightly to 14.1 points the next year. Outside of a nine-point win over No. 1 seed Ohio State in the championship game, Florida won every game by at least 10. The Gators started and ended the season as the undisputed No. 1 team.

3. Duke

Duke had to pull off some late-game heroics to keep its hopes of a championship alive. Laettner's game-winner against Kentucky in the Elite Eight is one of the most celebrated shots in college basketball history. The Blue Devils' average margin of victory during their first championship run was 14 points. In the repeat season, Duke won by an average of 12.5 points. Florida and Duke have strong arguments, but there is a clear No. 1.

While it's hard to compare these teams to repeat champions that came before the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, those squads have also earned a place in history. Here's a list of other elite programs to climb to the top of college basketball in consecutive seasons.  

Other back-to-back NCAA Tournament winners

UCLA (1964-65 and 1967-73)

Year Record Coach Runner-up
196730-0John WoodenDayton
196829-1John WoodenNorth Carolina
196929-1John WoodenPurdue
197028-2John WoodenJacksonville
197129-1John WoodenVillanova
197230-0John WoodenFlorida State
197330-0John WoodenMemphis State
Year Record Coach Runner-up
196430-0John WoodenDuke
196528-2John WoodenMichigan

The team with the most national titles in college basketball history became the fifth program to win back-to-back championships in 1964 and 1965 under Wooden. After a two-year title hiatus, UCLA won seven straight national championships — an unbreakable record. UCLA featured future NBA stars Gail Goodrich, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jamaal Wilkes, Bill Walton, and more on those teams.

Cincinnati (1961-62)

Year Record Coach Runner-up
196127-3Ed JuckerOhio State
196229-2Ed JuckerOhio State

First-year coach Ed Jucker led Cincinnati to its first national title in 1961 with a 70-65 overtime win over Ohio State. The Bearcats defeated Creighton, Colorado, and UCLA to set up another date with the Buckeyes for the championship. Cincinnati won the rematch 71-59 to become the fourth program to repeat. Cincinnati's roster featured future NBA players Paul Hogue, Bob Wiesenhahn, and Tom Thacker.

San Francisco (1955-56)

Year Record Coach Runner-up
195528-1Phil WoolpertLaSalle
195629-0Phil WoolpertIowa

Led by future NBA star Bill Russell, San Francisco won back-to-back national championships. San Francisco's roster also featured future NBA player Mike Farmer, who played eight seasons in the league. Outside of a 57-56 win over Oregon State in the West Regional final in 1955, the Dons won their other eight NCAA Tournament games by double-digits.

Kentucky (1948-49)

Year Record Coach Runner-up
194836-3Adolph RuppBaylor
194932-2Adolph RuppOklahoma A&M

Kentucky's first national championship in program history came in 1948. Future NBA players Alex Groza, Ralph Beard Wah Wah Jones, Cliff Barker, Joe Holland, and Jack Parkinson led the Wildcats to a win in the championship game over Baylor, 58-42. Groza, Beard, Jones, and Barker returned the following season to help Kentucky repeat.

Oklahoma State (1945-46)

Year Record Coach Runner-up
194527-4Henry IbaNYU
194631-2Henry IbaNorth Carolina

Oklahoma State was known as Oklahoma A&M before the school switched its name in 1957. The Cowboys became the first team to repeat as national champions with wins over NYU and North Carolina in consecutive seasons to etch their name into the history books.