Muffet McGraw says she tries not to read many things Geno Auriemma says because they are friendly and she’d like to keep it that way.
She knows Geno likes to dig and McGraw said her nature isn’t to fire back in a public forum. And she was smiling when she said it.
Then she was reminded Saturday of something Auriemma told the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce in March.
Undaunted by three previous defeats to Notre Dame this season, Auriemma said he was confident the result would be different if the teams met 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. “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.”
McGraw said she hadn’t heard about that. But she did hear what he had to say before the Huskies played the Irish for the Big East tournament championship on March 12.
Notre Dame senior Skylar Diggins had said the Irish don’t dislike the Huskies as much as they have a “distaste” for them.
Auriemma said he could relate to that.
“If I was her, I would feel the same way,” he said. “We have seven national championships, they have one. We have Big East [tournament] championships, they have none. If I was her, I’d be upset, too. I think she is telling the truth.”
McGraw said she heard about that and used it to inspire her team.
“I did hear the guarantee for the Big East championship,” McGraw said. “And so that was a great motivational speech I didn’t have to give my team. That was something I did see.”