It was only a year ago, but people forget that the invincible UConn womens basketball team was the victim of an unexpected March Madness toe stump against Cinderella squad Mississippi State in the Final Four that abruptly and shockingly ended Geno Auriemmas 111-game undefeated streak which started with a win against Creighton on November 23, 2014.
The upset opened the door for South Carolina and head coach Dawn Staley to slip in and defeat Mississippi State in the championship to capture the schools first NCAA womens hoops title and break the string of dominance by UConn.
The Gamecocks were able to avoid a confrontation with the Goliath, the impenetrable steel wall of womens college hoops, but this season they were not as fortunate.
If South Carolina was going to complete a back-to-back title run they would have to go through UConn which hasnt lost a game since Mississippi State disrupted perfection on March 31, 2017, with a typical Big Dance buzzer beater at the end of the overtime.
On Monday night, the Huskies were able to get some revenge against the team that swooped in and stole their 2017 title in an Elite 8 matchup on Monday night. UConn dominated the defending national champion 94-65 for the NCAA Albany Region championship.
See you in Columbus!! @UConnWBB now owns the longest streak of consecutive Final Four appearances. #DemandMore // #WFinalFour
UConns 11-straight Final Fours breaks the tie that the program held with John Woodens famed UCLA mens basketball powerhouses that went to 9 of the schools 10 straight Final Fours from 1967-76.
UConns next conquest will be Notre Dame, with an eye on avenging that Final Four loss to Mississippi State in the National Title game if the Bulldogs can get past Louisville.
When you win as easily and often as UConn, motivation can become a problem at times, but after last seasons Final Four flop UConn has everything to play for as the school pursues its 12th national championship.
The licking they put on South Carolina seemed personal and overdue.
“Yeah, redemption … I don’t think that’s the word, but we definitely had something to prove not only to the rest of the world but to ourselves, as well,” said senior Gabby Williams, who scored 23 points on 11-for-16 shooting from the field.
The last time the UConn women weren’t in the Final Four, the original iPhone was three months from hitting stores.
It was typical UConn. The passing, shooting and ball movement was lit. A perfect script to this undefeated season will be finishing the championship off with a revenge whooping of Mississippi State in the Finals. Or maybe the Bulldogs are UConns kryptonite and another upset is on the horizon.