UConn's Auriemma shows love for Cinderella Quinnipiac team
As UConn's five starters made their way to their interviews with ESPN and head coach Geno Auriemma was about to emerge from the locker room to head to the interview with the media, UConn women's basketball sports information director Pat McKenna dropped a hint that Auriemma had something special planned at his presser.
As it was winding down, Auriemma unzipped his jacket to reveal a Quinnipiac t-shirt. Auriemma took it a step further as he explained why he was wearing a shirt for the first Connecticut team other than UConn to advance to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Division I women's basketball tournament.
"I'm just glad we're not in their bracket because I'll tell you what, I wouldn't want to be in their bracket," Auriemma said. "They remind me of our '91 team. I watched them play the other day. There was about 10 minutes left -- eight minutes left in the game, and I remember saying, 'I think they're going to win.' I couldn't believe it. And everybody in the place was going nuts. I thought, 'oh, my God, this is like 1991, replaying itself.' And Trish, that potty-mouth coach of theirs, if I ever said some of the stuff that she said, I'd get crucified. I told her that, too. Catholic school girl like herself? She should be ashamed of herself."
Word got out to Quinnipiac coach Tricia Fabbri of Auriemma's wardrobe choice before the start of the Bobcats' press conference in Stockton, California.
"Well, first of all, Geno has been such a mentor for me going way back," Fabbri said. "He helped me in this process, get a job at Quinnipiac a long, long time ago, 22 years ago. But really just a gold standard, a great guy, and then he was so excited. He reached out as soon as we won, and so complimentary of what we were able to accomplish over the weekend.The fact that he is wearing our shirt in support of our team in this tournament at this time, just so thankful, and very grateful for his support and UConn women's basketball's support of Quinnipiac's women's basketball, and the two teams in Connecticut here representing women's basketball in the Sweet 16."