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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Things much more civil between UConn and Notre Dame these days

The back and forth sniping between Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw and UConn's Geno Auriemma during last year's Final Four might have been more interesting than anything that transpired on the court.

The discontent, and that is putting it nicely, made things interesting for the players as well.

Notre Dame junior guard Jewell Loyd had a gleam in her eye when she was asked about it during the breakout interview sessions with the media.

"Last year was like Gladiator," Loyd said. "It was heated. It was like you walk down the hallway and tilt your head (to avoid eye contact). This year it is friendlier I guess, everybody is smiling. It might be the weather but it is not as hostile which is good. Geno is a great guy, Coach McGraw is great and when you have two competitive coaches like that going at it, it is going to be heated at times."

The teams met in December and both coaches downplayed any lingering issues between them. Auriemma took the opportunity to offer praise to McGraw and the program she has built during the final day of the Albany Regional.
"Nobody likes to have more fun that me with this stuff when I can," Auriemma said. "We don't take ourselves too seriously and we understand what the deal is so when it gets to be all of that, I am not really comfortable with it because it didn't seem like it was fun but it is really good right now. I think on the outside people might not really understand the level of respect that we have for them and they have for us so no matter what anybody says or does or thinks, it is there, it has always been there and will always be there."

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