By the numbers: Which title team was more dominant, UConn or the Celtics?

Kels Dayton, Hartford Courant on

Published in Basketball

HARTFORD, Conn. — It’s been quite a year for New England basketball fans.

First, the UConn men’s basketball team dominated the rest of the competition en route to a sixth NCAA title and second in a row. Then, just up the road, the Boston Celtics punctuated a 64-win regular season with a 16-3 tear through the NBA playoffs, coasting to an all-time record 18th NBA title in a never-in-doubt five-game romp over the Dallas Mavericks.

The C’s won more games than any team in the league since the 2017 Warriors, and lost fewer in the postseason than any team since those dynastic Dubs as well.

So, which New England title-winner was more dominant?

Let’s take a look at the numbers.

Win-loss record — regular and postseason

Celtics: 80-21

UConn men: 37-3

Winning percentage — regular and postseason

UConn: 92.5%

Celtics: 79.2%

Offensive rating

UConn: 1st in NCAA (123.3)

Celtics: 1st in NBA (122.2)

Defensive rating

UConn: 7th (96.0)

Celtics: 2nd (110.6)

Net rating

UConn: 1st (27.4)

Celtics: 1st (8.6)

Longest win streak

UConn: 14

Celtics: 11


Assist-to-turnover ratio

UConn: 1st (1.95)

Celtics: 3rd (2.25)

Effective field-goal percentage:

Celtics: T-1st (57.8%)

UConn: 7th (56.9%)

Opponents’ field-goal percentage

Celtics: 2nd (45.2)

UConn: 4th (39.2)

Rebounds per game

Celtics: 1st (46.4)

UConn: 3rd (38.8)

Postseason margin of victory

UConn: 23.3, highest in NCAA Tournament history

Celtics: 8.05

Title-clinching game

Celtics 106, Mavericks 88 (+18)

UConn 75, Purdue 60 (+15)


Which team was more dominant? It’s pretty close, although UConn’s NCAA Tournament record-breaking margin of victory and the fact that the Huskies captured their second straight title probably swing things in their favor. UConn also trounced fellow No. 1 seed Purdue, a team many (wrongly) thought was better than the Huskies heading into the Big Dance, in the final. The Celtics rolled past fifth-seeded Dallas, though they won’t apologize for the Denver Nuggets losing in the second round.

Either way, if you’re a Boston sports fan in Connecticut, or just a New England basketball fan, it’s been a pretty special year.

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