UConn will have a key figure back for the Sweet 16 with head coach Geno Auriemma set to rejoin the team on Wednesday following his recovery from COVID-19.
The 11-time national champion missed the team's first two games of the NCAA women's basketball tournament while completing a 10-day quarantine after he tested positive for COVID-19 on March 14. Auriemma said he has not experienced any symptoms and has already received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Associate head coach Chris Dailey, who has been at UConn since 1985, led the Huskies in Auriemma's stead to their 27th straight Sweet 16 appearance with a first-round 102-59 rout of High Point and Tuesday's 83-47 win over Syracuse.
"This was a tough game because I didn't want to be in a position where I cost our players an opportunity to keep playing," Dailey said in her post-game press conference after Tuesday's win. "And he was actually really calming when I was talking to him. I think we were both anxious and I know everybody is going to be really happy to have him here tomorrow."
Auriemma celebrated his 67th birthday on Tuesday. The team gathered to sing "Happy Birthday" to him after his pre-game shootaround talk via Zoom.
Auriemma is set to fly into San Antonio on Wednesday ahead of Saturday's Sweet 16 matchup with fifth-seeded Iowa. After last's season's tournament was canceled, the top-ranked Huskies are currently in a four-year title drought, their longest since 2004-2009 when they failed to make the final in four straight seasons.