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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, March 10, 2014

UConn leaves little doubt in capturing inaugural AAC title

If Geno Auriemma had his way, he would not need to wait for nearly two weeks to lead his top-ranked UConn in the NCAA tournament.

After a bit of a choppy start against Cincinnati in the quarterfinals, UConn got off to flying starts against both Rutgers and Louisville to win the American Athletic Conference title. The Huskies scored the first 13 points in the semifinal win over Rutgers and led 8-0 1:17 into the game.

"I wish it was like men's basketball where the tournament started next Saturday or next Thursday, that would be really good but unfortunately you have to sit around for two weeks now and wait and a lot can happen in two weeks," Auriemma said. "Fortunately for us, it gives us time to regroup. It has been kind of an exhausting run but we certainly have played really well in the last two games especially. We have gone into the NCAA tournament having won convincingly in these games and won the national championship. We have gone in losing this game and won a national championship and we have gone in after losing this game and lost. I don't know playing (well) in these two games signifies anything because 13 days from now it starts all over."

Breanna Stewart averaged 21.3 points, 7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 2.7 blocks per game to earn tournament most outstanding player honors. Bria Hartley contributed 15 points and 6.7 assists in the three games, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis averaged 14.7 points and his nine 3-pointers during the tournament while Stefanie Dolson averaged 11.7 points and 10.3 rebounds per game to join Stewart on the all-tournament team. Moriah Jefferson added 8.7 points and 3.3 assists a game.

"Things are definitely clicking," Dolson said. "We went out there and played extremely well on offense and executed well on defense. There is always room for improvement because we know the NCAA tournament is coming up and every team is going to get better."

Speaking of the NCAA tournament, few topics were raised as often over the last few days than the possibility of  UConn being the No. 1 seed and Louisville No. 2 in the regional being hosted by the Cardinals.

"I have no idea," Auriemma said. "People have been asking me that for the last couple of weeks. They are sending you to Louisville because that is the closest place to Storrs like anybody gives a damn where you are going to be playing the next games. Well the coaches voted that you want to be closest to home. Really? You want to be close to home and you want to play the No. 1 team in the country or do you want to play the team you are supposed to be playing because that is how it falls 1-8. If we are not playing 1-8 and sometimes that doesn't happen then it is not a real tournament, I don't care what anybody says. I don't care what happens after eight but those eight, it should be 1 play 8, 2 plays 7, 3 plays 6, 4 plays 5 right on down the line and if they don't put it together like that then it is not a real tournament.

"I don't understand but I have never voted on it. My thing is are you doing in geographically because you think it is going to bring in lots of fans? Well, you already did that by giving it to the home fans that brings in a lot of fans so Louisville needs us down there to sell the place out? Notre Dame needs us to sell the Joyce Center out? That is why you gave it to them now your job is whoever 1 is, whether it is us or Notre Dame, they should play eight. I remember when we played Rutgers in Greensboro and we were two of the top three or four teams in the country and how is that possible? They got a lot of flak out of that and they can't keep saying 'this is the rule.' At some point common sense has to rule."

We will find out on Mar. 17 if that is the case since that is when the tournament bracket will be announced.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many fans agree with Auriemma. Maybe most fans do.

NCAA committees for women's basketball and women's volleyball always screw up the tournament with their silly rules. Someone needs to change the rules and reward the best teams.

Same goes for the NFL, allowing 7-9 teams and 8-8 teams in the playoffs and eliminating 11-5 teams.

If UConn goes to Nebraska, they might have to face Baylor again. That is not an automatic win for UConn on a neutral court. Not when the bench cannot score and looks completely lost on offense.

How does that keep happening when UConn has the best coaches? Maya did not get to the championship her senior season because the bench was thin and many players stood around and watched her. UConn cannot afford to stand around and watch Stewart shoot 15 to 20 shots.

8:57 AM 

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