A few things to watch at the women's championship game
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Some things to watch for Tuesday night when UConn meets Syracuse for the national championship:
The Huskies have a really good chance to win a fourth consecutive title, a feat never done before in women's basketball. UConn won three straight titles from 2002-04 and Tennessee did it from 1996-98. If UConn does pull off the victory, Geno Auriemma will win his 11th championship, moving him past UCLA men's coach John Wooden for the most in the history of college basketball.
''I'm not going to go and say that we're going to lose,'' Breanna Stewart said. ''To end my college career, to end it with the other seniors, there is no other way that I want that to happen.''
Wooden won seven of his 10 titles in a row at UCLA from 1967-73.
UConn is 10 for 10 in title games.
''I think at this time of the year your confidence level and your ability have to mesh,'' Auriemma said. ''There's teams maybe that come here with a lot more confidence than ability and it catches up to you or a lot more ability than they have confidence. So when those two things mesh, I think you have a pretty unbeatable combination.''
Auriemma also said it helped having players like Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore and Stewart.
''Three people are directly responsible for eight of them,'' he said. ''So when you've got those three in your lineup, Stewie, Dee, and Maya, at this time of the year, generally speaking, if you have the best player on the floor, good things can happen.''
Syracuse has been stellar in the tournament from behind the 3-point line. The Orange have made 48 3-pointers so far in the NCAAs, averaging nearly 10 a game - up one from the regular season. They are also making 33.6 percent from behind the arc, up 4 percent from the regular season.
''Our goal is to make 10 3s a game,'' Syracuse coach Quentin Hillsman said. ''If it takes 40 to make 10, it's 40. If it takes 50, it's 50.''
UConn will be without freshman Katie Lou Samuelson, who broke her foot in the semifinal win over Oregon State.
''It's definitely tough,'' she said. ''I've been working so hard this season. It's kind of a bummer that it's got to end this way, but I know my team is going to be out there and just play as hard as they can and I know they can do it.''
SUPPORT FROM AFAR
Hillsman said that Syracuse men's coach Jim Boeheim has been one of the team's biggest fans. While he didn't think Boeheim would be at the game Tuesday night, he has been offering support.
''We've texted. He's always - like I said, he's the man,'' Hillsman said. ''He's a Syracuse guy. He's very supportive. And it's good.''
AP Sports Writers Pat Eaton-Robb and Michael Marot contributed to this story.