GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Dan Hurley provided his usual histrionics in Monday night’s title game, screaming and pleading with officials, stalking around in front of the bench, and trading chest bumps with assistant coaches in the final minutes when it became clear that UConn was about to win its second straight national championship.

Behind all that bluster is a man at the top of his profession.

And he put on a coaching masterclass in the Huskies’ 75-60 win over Purdue.

“What can you say?” Hurley said. “We won. By a lot again.”

Hurley became the first coach to win back-to-back championships since Billy Donovan with Florida in 2007. The exclusive coaching club also includes names like John Wooden and Mike Krzyzewski. The Huskies are the sixth team to win all six tournament games by double-digit margins.

They won those games by a combined total of 140 points.

“It means a lot, because I’m a student of the game,” Hurley said. “Basketball’s been my life. I got so much respect for the history of this game.”

The Huskies might have to get uncomfortable financially to keep the coach in Storrs for a shot at a three-peat.

Hurley could be a wanted man in the coming weeks, particularly if the Kentucky job comes open. Coach John Calipari is reportedly in talks with Arkansas about switching Southeastern Conference schools, which would open one of the premier jobs in the sport.

Of course, UConn’s not a bad spot either. The program has won six national titles and Hurley is aiming for a seventh. A New Jersey native who seems comfortable on the East Coast, he brushed off a question about potential suitors in the coming days, saying his wife wouldn’t be happy about another move.

“I can’t afford a divorce right now,” Hurley said laughing. “I just started making some money.”

It has taken the 51-year-old Hurley just six years to build a behemoth at UConn. He was rewarded after last year’s title with a $32.1 million, six-year deal that could keep him on campus through 2029.

The first year of that new deal was worth every penny. Hurley’s decision to focus on perimeter defense instead of double-teaming Purdue star Zach Edey worked perfectly. Edey scored 37 points on 15 of 25 shooting, but the rest of the Boilermakers couldn’t do much of anything.

Purdue finished 1 of 7 from 3-point range.

“Not everybody can do what they just did,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “You have to give credit to their defense and their coach and how they’re wired.”

Hurley might be a whirlwind of emotion on the sideline — like a Red Bull in human form — but his players love every bit of it. The coach bearhugged freshman Stephon Castle as he came off the floor in the final minute.

“It was crazy, just to know that we finally got it done and the game was in our hands,” Castle said. “I committed back in 11th grade. I’ve had a connection with coach Hurley forever now. For this day to finally come — there was a lot of emotion.”

UConn’s roster likely will need a significant overhaul next season. Cam Spencer and Tristen Newton are out of eligibility after this season, and two other starters — Castle and Donovan Clingan — could be lottery picks in the NBA draft this summer.

Hurley’s already excited about the challenge. He said he’ll be thinking about next year’s roster on the plane ride home.

“We’re going to dive in and put together a roster that can play a comparable level of basketball to the one that you guys have witnessed the last two years,” Hurley said. “That’s I know what our mindset will be.

“We’re going to be focusing on trying to put together a three-year run, not just a two-year run.”


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