If the UConn men’s team “rose from the ashes” with an extraordinary run to the national title, as one headline yesterday declared, the women’s team was a blaze that could not be extinguished all season.
The undefeated UConn Huskies dominated 79-58 over Notre Dame last night, claiming a record-breaking ninth national championship in Nashville, Tenn.
The win came just a day after the men’s victory over Kentucky, making this the second time in history that UConn has secured dual championships – the only team to make that claim. The last time was exactly a decade ago.
Last year, both Louisville teams made it to the championship game but only the men’s team won. UConn beat the women’s team.
“We beat a great, great team,” UConn coach 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.”
It was the fifth unbeaten season for Auriemma and UConn and the first time the Huskies went 40-0 – matching Baylor as the only schools to accomplish that feat. The victory was also Connecticut’s 46th straight, dating back to last season’s NCAA tournament title run. It’s the third longest streak in school history – well short of the NCAA record 90 straight they won.
Last summer, UConn’s Stefanie Dolson promised President Barack Obama at the White House that the Huskies would be back; UConn delivered.
Be part of the women’s team’s return to campus today
The women’s basketball team and its travel party will leave Nashville on a 12:45 p.m. EDT flight today, and is expected to return to Bradley International Airport at about 3 p.m. There will be no public event at the airport.
The Huskies will then return to the Storrs campus for a National Champions “Victory Lap” beginning at about 4 o’clock. Players will ride in an open-air double decker bus and will be accompanied by the UConn pep band and cheerleaders.
Upon conclusion of the “Victory Lap” there will be a brief program at the Fairfield Way Plaza – between the Student Union and the School of Business.
The “Victory Lap” will begin at the corner of Route 195 (Storrs Road) and North Eagleville Road at the Storrs Congregational Church. The team will then take a left onto Glenbrook Road and a left onto the “CLAS” Bus Way and drive in front of the Wilbur Cross Building and Gulley Hall. At Gulley Hall, the team will take a right onto Fairfield Way (at Hawley Armory), make its way past the Homer Babbidge Library, and end at Fairfield Way Plaza.
Fans can track the Huskies’ exact progress from Bradley International Airport to campus with updates from Twitter at @UConnWBB.
Watch the women’s team during their Victory Lap.