It is a good time to be a fan of the Connecticut Huskies. Why? UConn basketball is taking home not only the men’s title, but the women’s title as well.
Last night the nation watched a nail biter between two teams that no one expected to be in the national title game. That was far from the case in the women’s title game. The Huskies were the No. 1 team in both polls entering the tournament; Notre Dame was No. 2. Neither had lost a single game.
Both were No. 1 seeds and neither faced a serious competitor throughout the tournament. UConn’s margin of victory ranged from 15-49 points; Notre Dame’s ranged from 17-51.
So when the two faced off in the national title game Tuesday night it was clear–the two best women’s teams in the nation were going to duke it out for national supremacy.
From the start it was pretty clear who was going to win. The Huskies got out to an early 22-8 lead with 11 minutes to go in the first half and never looked back. Notre Dame closed the gap down to five late in the half, but went in to the break down by seven 45-38.
At the half the Fighting Irish were still in the game, but after an 18-4 run by the Huskies to open the second half the game was as good as over. Notre Dame couldn’t break through the tough Connecticut defense and couldn’t stop them from scoring. UConn led by as much as 22 during the second and went on to win by 21 (79-58).
“We beat a great, great team,” Geno Auriemma said. “Notre Dame is a great team. For them to have the season they had and lose their starting center and to do what they did, I can’t say enough about their players, coaching staff and it took everything we have. I knew if we played great we’d have a chance to win.”
And win they did.
The win gave the Huskies their ninth national title–most by any Division I women’s program–and second in a row. It also gave them their fifth undefeated season under Auriemma and their 46th win in a row dating back to last year. Along with the men’s win Monday night the UConn basketball program (men’s and women’s) became just the second in NCAA history to win both titles; the only other school to do–the Huskies back in 2004.