'Uncanny knack for perfection' fuels UConn's historic dominance
SAN ANTONIO -- You won't find the names of
They've beaten the UConn women's basketball team.
"The days are few, but the days when we do beat them, we get pretty excited," said DeMille, one of 12 male practice players who train daily with the Huskies during the regular season. "When we look up at the scoreboard and see the White Team, which is us, has more points than the Blue Team, it's really pretty great. We know in the back of our heads we might not win again for the next few weeks or even months. But coach [
Gauthier has been a practice player for the past two years, and has battled
Perfection is calling UConn yet again. The Huskies have won 77 consecutive games, including all 38 this season. No team has ever completed back-to-back undefeated seasons, and only five women's teams have ended a season undefeated, including three Husky squads. This will be the seventh national championship game in UConn history; they have won all six previous title games.
"Geno has done it the way you should, keeping the kids focused, working hard on every possession, and not playing the score but playing the game," Baylor assistant coach
Stanford stands between UConn and history, and for 22 minutes on Dec. 23 in Hartford, the Cardinal played point for point with the Huskies. Stanford led 40-38 at the break and 44-42 early in the second half before UConn exploded for a 30-6 run. The 80-68 win was UConn's closest game this season. Since then Stanford has won 27 straight and developed a go-to force in sophomore
"Stanford is one of the few teams in the country that we play where they are bigger than us at every single position," Auriemma said. "We have tough, tough matchups with them. Maya defensively does not match up with [Ogwumike] and
That will be up to Moore and Charles, who have each scored at least 20 points in the same game three times during the NCAA tournament, and accomplished that feat in the Stanford game when Moore finished with 23 points and Charles had 20. On Monday morning, the Stanford team watched video of that game, a film session senior guard
Stanford has been a loose and confident bunch in San Antonio, even joking about how many have dubbed this Final Four the UConn Invitational. Said Gold-Onwude: "I was on ESPN.com one day and the poll question was "Will UConn win a national championship? "One option was 'Yes, they'll dominate.' The other option was 'Yes, but they will be tested.' What can you do, I guess?"
Though they were tested Sunday night against Baylor, UConn's dominance over the past three weeks has been remarkable: The Huskies have defeated each of their five NCAA tournament opponents by at least 20 points: Baylor (by 20), Florida State (40), Iowa State (38), Temple (54) and Southern (56).
UConn will look to exploit Stanford in the post. Stanford All-America center
If you believe in symmetry or the mystical value of dates, the title game will be exactly two years to the day (April 6, 2008) the Cardinal defeated the Huskies in the national semifinals in Tampa. That was the last time UConn lost to anyone other than its male practice players, who only keep score in short segments.
"Somebody's gotta beat Connecticut," Oklahoma coach