Question of the Day: How much does the loss by the UConn women diminish their legacy? [Updated]
Writers from around the Tribune Co. weigh in on the loss by two-time defending NCAA women's champion Connecticut to Notre Dame in Sunday's tournament semifinals. Check back throughout the day for more responses and feel free to leave a comment of your own.
Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times
Not one iota.
UConn is currently to women’s basketball what John Wooden’s UCLA teams were to the men’s game in the late '60s and mid-'70s.
UConn’s record 90-game winning streak that ended in December surpassed UCLA’s 88-game streak. The Bruins, coincidentally, saw their streak ended by Notre Dame, the school that defeated UConn in the Final Four on Sunday.
Notre Dame’s victory over the two-time defending champion Huskies reminded of North Carolina State’s victory over UCLA in the 1974 men’s Final Four. The loss ended UCLA’s run of seven consecutive NCAA championships.
Just as that defeat did nothing to diminish the legacies of Wooden and star player Bill Walton, UConn’s loss takes nothing away from Coach Geno Auriemma and star player Maya Moore.
It should be noted that UCLA came back without Walton and won the title the next year. Expect UConn, sans Moore, to be in contention to do the same.
[Updated at 1:34 p.m.:
Jeff Otterbein, Hartford Courant
The loss by UConn does nothing to diminish the Huskies’ legacy.
What they had this season was Maya Moore and a bunch of players, including five freshmen, trying to find their way. They certainly did, breaking the UCLA men’s record and getting to the national semifinals along the way.
Notre Dame didn’t shut down Moore on Sunday night, but the Irish took care of everyone else. The lack of depth by the Huskies finally got to them.
This is a team that lost two talented seniors (Tina Charles, Kalana Greene) to graduation and an expected leader (Caroline Doty) to injury before the season, then had one of the freshmen (forward Samarie Walker) leave during the season.
In the end the Huskies could not do it. But neither could the others who were supposed to -- Stanford, Baylor, Tennessee. Pretty good company.]
Photo: Connecticut Coach Geno Auriemma hugs star player Maya Moore. Credit: Elsa / Getty Images