Connecticut's junior center
After all, no team had come within single digits of beating the Huskies this year, especially not Louisville, a Big East rival who had lost two earlier matchups by a combined 67 points. Surely this Connecticut team, which Cardinals' senior forward
And now that they've won the title many observers saw coming months ago, the discussion can begin: Where do the 2008-09 Huskies fit into the pantheon of the greatest teams in women's basketball history? They are the fifth women's D-I team to go undefeated, the third at Connecticut. The similarities between the undefeated '02 team -- a team that featured All-Americas
For the first time, two made the championship game. And it was the first Connecticut team to win a title after suffering a major injury -- starting freshman guard
Wherever this team settles into the pantheon -- and that will be a happy discussion for Connecticut fans for years to come -- it will be remembered for having the same competitive fire that has marked every champion before it.
After Tuesday's shootaround, Auriemma talked to his players about the significance of the game. "I was hoping I would be able to get something across like, "if we lose today, what do we lose?" I wanted to say, 'it's just a game. You don't lose who you are. You don't lose what we've done. You don't lose the incredible accomplishments that we've had'. So I said, 'Lemme ask you guys a question: if we lose the game tonight, what did we lose?' And Renee goes, 'Everything!' And I'm like, there goes that speech!' To her it was everything, and I'm glad it turned out exactly the way it did."