Geno Says UConn Will Beat ND The Next Time Around

by Categorized: 2013 NCAA Tournament, Baylor women's basketball, Big East women's basketball, Geno Auriemma, Notre Dame women's basketball, UConn women's basketball, Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard Date:

Undaunted by three previous defeats to Notre Dame this season, UConn coach Geno Auriemma said Monday he’s confident the result will be different if the teams meet again at the women’s basketball Final Four in New Orleans.

“Had we been beaten decisively in all three games, I would feel terrible,” said Auriemma, the guest speaker at the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce’s breakfast. “But I don’t feel that way at all. My staff, my players and I feel like we lost those three games.

“And we’re not going to lose the next one.”

The Huskies will find out later Monday under what circumstances that could happen when the NCAA Selection Committee maps out its field of 64 for the upcoming tournament.

The Huskies (29-4) will be trying to make their sixth straight Final Four and win an eighth national championship.

If Notre Dame and UConn are ranked No. 2 and No. 3 overall in the field of 64, a potential fourth game this season would come in the national semifinals. It would be the third straight season the teams have met there. Notre Dame has won the last two.

If the Huskies are ranked No. 4, which is unlikely, they would have to wait until a possible national championship game  – and first survive a possible rematch with defending champion Baylor in the semifinal. The Lady Bears defeated UConn, 76-70, in Hartford on Feb. 18.

Even though UConn has lost seven of its last eight to Notre Dame, Auriemma based his prediction on how the three most recent meetings with the Irish have played out.

“The reality of the situation is [if a team is defeated] that, you are either going to lose the game or you are going to get beat. But those are two separate things,” Auriemma said.

“If play exceptionally well and get beat, well, it’s a part of sports and I think every coach and every player appreciates that.

“But if you come out a game feeling like as if you lost, that’s a bad, bad feeling, really bad.

“So let’s look at the Notre Dame games this season: In the first one [Jan. 5 at Gampel Pavilion], we had three chances to win the game at the end with wide open shots we didn’t make. We felt we lost that game [Notre Dame, 73-72].

“When we played there [March 4], all we needed to do was make one more free throw to win and we didn’t. That’s bad. We felt like we lost that game [Notre Dame, 96-87 in three overtimes].

“And then [in the Big East final on March 12] we had a chance to win the game with 18.6 seconds left and it ends up with Notre Dame winning [61-59] with a layup. We feel like we lost that game.”

The Huskies almost certainly will be the No. 1 seed in the Bridgeport Regional and begin play Saturday at Gampel Pavilion against the No. 16 seed. A second-round game against the 8-9 winner would be Monday.

Should the Huskies advance to the Sweet 16 – like they have for the last 19 seasons – they will play in Bridgeport the following weekend.

Auriemma said the Huskies are prepared to move ahead no longer dwelling on that’s happened in the past.

“We’ve seen gotten past that,” Auriemma said. “We are not going to talk about that [the three losses to Notre Dame] because this is a new season. And as you know, whatever happens in the regular season usually doesn’t have a lot of carry over to the postseason.

“If there’s anything I’ve learned over years it’s that, we’ve been undefeated in the regular season [1996-97] and not won the championship and we’ve lost games and won the national championship [three times]. So you try to convince the players, and sometimes it’s hard, that it is a whole new season that only lasts three weeks, if you are lucky.

“If you carry some of the baggage from the regular season with you, or if you are undefeated and think you can’t lose, it’s not a good thing.”







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11 thoughts on “Geno Says UConn Will Beat ND The Next Time Around

  1. Denise in AZ

    Hey, John, you should go back and edit your article in which you wrote near the end:

    The Huskies had a chance to win it… But a turnover by Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins led to Natalie Achonwa’s game-winning basket with 1.8 seconds to play.

    That was UCONN turnover. Diggins did not turn the ball over – she intercepted a terrible pass by KML. So that was a turnover by KML and UCONN.

    1. Imperfect Diggy Baby

      About 3 plays prior to the last 19 second–Diggy threw the ball into the stands to a phantom ND player.
      McBride turned it over just before that, and before that Diggins turned it over.

      All Uconn fans see are the turnover by Uconn.
      ND isn’t perfect, Muffet isn’t the greatest coach (very very good coach), her area of recruitment is better than Geno’s.

      Indiana and Kentucky are huge BASKETBALL STATES. Kids learn to bounce a basketball at age 3. Every high school expect to become a Hoosiers type team (the movie, not the state).
      So the talent and experience pool for ND, Purdue, Indiana St, IU, is kids with basketball IQ’s. I love Indiana because of that.

      1. Teebee

        Just one minute. NY metro area and East in general aren’t exactly “chopped liver” as regards basketball meccas either. I will take the NYC/Newark playgrounds against all for BB IQ.

  2. The Far Side

    Key to winning next Notre Dame game:

    a) Before game, both players and coaches need to remove their heads from their heinie
    b) after thoroughly washing with a strong antibacterial soap, place heads on neck where it belongs
    c)Now that their capacity to think during a game is in place (something Notre Dame would never anticipate) we win by catching them by surprise. Piece of cake!

  3. What Did John Expect Geno to say?

    If any coach tells his team other than they shall win the next time they meet that team–then fire that coach.

    It’s like saying the Blue Hens will win the Final Four–because they have EDD. A team that squeeked by Drexel by 3 points–with the “super girl” “star” “one of 3″ on the Blue Hen’s team@@@ And the last 2 years the blue hen coach “surrounded EDD” with talented players at every position.

    After this year two things will be great–EDD will be a thing of the past and so will Notre Dame. Maybe the Courant will become a “home team” newspaper again.

  4. Uconn must first

    They must first beat (if the pundits are correct) Navy, MD, Kentucky. MD and Kentucky are tough games. Geno has always said, until recently, that to win the Elite 8 is harder than winning the Final 4, even in Bridgeport

    1. Bracchus

      Does Geno understand that the team with the least amount of points at the end of a game is the loser? His convoluted logic does not change the fact that UCONN lost three games in a row to ND. Yes, they were close games. But, ND won three close games. There is some consistency in that.

      Following Geno’s line of reasoning, I could question some of his lopsided wins over lesser talent schools. I have seen several games where those lesser talent schools lost primarily because of unforced errors. So, should they take a moral victory and say they lost but were not beaten.

      Further Geno, 2 of those loses were in a home court environment. We got beat three times- period. Stop being a sore loser and prepare for the tournament.


    And if he plays Notre Dame again this year and loses, he will say “Oh yaaah, wait til next year!”


      And he will BLAME the freshmen and sophomore. But NOT himself, his coaches, Bonehead Faris, Useless Doty, and Headcase Hartley

    2. Bracchus

      Remember when he said the two earlier losses to ND meant nothing because they never won the Big East Tournament. Guess what? They won the Big East Tournament.

      ND is a very good team- period. Lets cut the crap. If UCONN is going to win close games Geno will have to lead by example and encourage calmness . They will need to concentrate and stay focused in the closing seconds of a game.

      Take not fouling Diggins as she dribbled out the clock and dished it off to Natalie for the winning basket. Uconn had a foul to give. Someone should have just wrapped their arms around Diggins before she threw that pass. That is situational coaching.

      1. The Far Side

        As Yogi Berra once said, “90% of the game is half mental” and that is our problem. The players are not mentally strong and our coach is mental.

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