Who Says You Don’t Get A Third Chance In Life?

by Categorized: 2013 NCAA Tournament, UConn women's basketball Date:

UConn enters every season with a goal of winning three championships. The first two – the Big East regular season and tournament titles – belong to Notre Dame.

“It’s something you don’t want to have had happened,” UConn freshman Breanna Stewart said. “They [the Irish] are our rivals. You don’t want to lose to anyone. But you especially don’t want to lose to your rivals.”

Beginning Monday, the Huskies will have their chance to secure the biggest prize, an eighth national championship. And it’s practically certain they will begin the journey to a possible sixth straight Final Four with four games in their home state.

“This is it,” UConn senior Kelly Faris said. “The [losing] is frustrating and it’s getting old. This is literally the absolute last chance we will have to make anything of our season. If there is anything we haven’t put out there yet [to succeed] we need to do it now.”

The Huskies (29-4) are expected to be a No. 1 seed in the Bridgeport Regional when the NCAA Selection Committee announces its field of 64 teams. They should be joined by other top seeds, defending national champion Baylor, Notre Dame and Stanford.

The Huskies have played them all, losing to Notre Dame three times, Baylor once and defeating then-No. 1 Stanford, 61-35, in Palo Alto, Calif., on Dec. 29.

UConn will begin play Saturday with a first-round game at Gampel Pavilion. According to Charlie Creme, ESPN’s bracketologist for women’s basketball, they would meet Navy, a three-time Patriot League champion.

Interestingly, Creme projects Oklahoma and St. Joseph’s (Pa.) as the No. 8 and No. 9 seeds. The winner of that game would play UConn Monday in the second-round, should the Huskies defeat Navy.

“That is as far as we are looking right now,” Geno Auriemma said after UConn’s 61-59 loss to Notre Dame in the Big East tournament final.

From there, UConn would travel to Bridgeport for the Sweet 16 and Elite 8. These games were originally scheduled to be played in Trenton, N.J. However, the NCAA stripped New Jersey of all of its host venues for upcoming championships, in all divisions and all sports, after it legalized sports betting last year.

Bridgeport, which hosted first- and second-round games last season, then rebid and won the rights to the regional final, which will be played March 30 and April 1.

The Final Four will be at New Orleans Arena on April 7 and 9.

In Creme’s bracket, Kentucky is the No. 2 seed in Bridgeport. The Wildcats lost to the SEC Championship game to Texas A&M, a team defeated by 31 points by UConn on the road on Nov. 18.

Last year, the Huskies defeated Kentucky, 80-65, behind 22 points Tiffany Hayes to advance to the Final Four for the fifth consecutive season in Kingston, R.I.

The third seed is projected to be UCLA, followed by No. 4 Maryland. The Huskies beat the Terrapins, 63-48, at the XL Center on Dec. 3.

For the Huskies, the biggest challenge will be to get reoriented after losing for the third time to Notre Dame last Tuesday in the final Big East tournament championship game.

The Huskies did not convert a three-pointer in the loss (0-for-5) for the first time since the 2002 national championship game against Oklahoma.

The Huskies had a chance to win it with 18 seconds and left and the scored tied at 59. But a turnover by Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins led to Natalie Achonwa’s game-winning basket with 1.8 seconds to play.

“We had the opportunity in our hands, but we just lost it,” Stewart said.

 

 

 

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33 thoughts on “Who Says You Don’t Get A Third Chance In Life?

  1. Slvrhwk

    If Kelly wants this championship she’s going to have to take over and run this team at PG just like Sims and the Diva. Caroline’s knees, Bria’s head case and Mo’s inexperience can’t get it done. KML at SG, S & S double high post with Morgan down low is their best shot against ND and Baylor.

    1. Chong's a Champ

      Chong got 38 points against a tough opponent last night.

      SlvrHwk–Usually agree with you–however, I think MoJeff in the first two games should play 40 minutes and maybe gain valuable experience, and geno will instruct during those game, and the Kid may gain confidence to run the team. He is the real deal–will be one of our greatest.
      If her freshmen nerves get her–then Kelly or Hartley (if she is told not to dribble into a double team and to attack when the lane is free)
      AS FANS–we can’t give up on this group of Women–this is what Uconn has, you’ve got to play what you have , now what you wanted. The talent is there–confidence on some may still come back.
      NHRegister has story on all Uconn’s current recruit targets and Chong.

    2. Chong a Champ

      Chong got 38 points against a tough opponent last night.

      SlvrHwk–Usually agree with you–however, I think MoJeff in the first two games should play 40 minutes and maybe gain valuable experience, and geno will instruct during those game, and the Kid may gain confidence to run the team. He is the real deal–will be one of our greatest.
      If her freshmen nerves get her–then Kelly or Hartley (if she is told not to dribble into a double team and to attack when the lane is free)
      AS FANS–we can’t give up on this group of Women–this is what Uconn has, you’ve got to play what you have , now what you wanted. The talent is there–confidence on some may still come back.
      NHRegister has story on all Uconn’s current recruit targets and Chong.

  2. Uconn's a Winner

    The ND game showed us fans a few things that are positive. Stewart is playing at another level. Stokes can guard and score, Tuck has guts and moves to the basket. MoJeff can dish.
    The most productive and defensive team was Dolson,Faris, Stokes, Stewart, KML. to me that’s our starting five.
    But on the first 2 games I’d like to see Stokes, Hartley, Stewart, Tuck and Mo Jeff–they need the game playing time. The others need the resting time. Experience is gained in games—not on the bench

  3. Hartley Fan, but

    Bria Hartley usually played big time in big games. After her injury, not so much. She has made bad decisions — jumping in to make offensive fouls. That’s a turnover and a bad one. Getting caught in a double team happens to everyone at some time. Getting caught in two or three in a row is unforgiveable.
    Uconn has to set up “passing lanes” so that our guards are not caught being guarded too close–and allowing a steal.
    Geno and KML has to set up double, tripple screens for her to shoot. And KML has to shoot when open , always. If Stewie, KML and Dolson are scoring–uCONN can beat anyone.

  4. nhntc47

    Huskies can still win it all. If (yes, if) they play the way they can play. They lost those games mainly because they were not sure of themselves. I hope Breanna Stewart is no longer obsessed, as her coaches are, by the fact that she’s just a freshman.
    Breanna, you’re a great player. That’s what you are. You’re instrumental to this team to win. That’s the only thing that matters. Win the championship for yourself, your team and your fans, particularly the whining ones.

    1. JUSTME

      Amen nhntc47, Breanna will be the difference maker with her skills. I just wish she would not shoot the three pointer. Her percentage is pretty bad. I believe she belongs under the basket for an offensive rebound when someone else shoots it. Also she needs to be very physical because now is the time the opponents are going to get real physical knowing Uconn doesn’t like that kind of game.

  5. NOT A TREY WINGO FAN

    I DOUBT THAT DOTY SITS THE ENTIRE GAME THE FIRST 2 ROUNDS. ONCE IN THE SWEET 16 IT WILL BE THIN BENCH TIME. KML, DOLSON, FARIS, STEWART, HARTLEY. A FEW MINUTES HERE AND THERE FOR STOKES, TUCK, JEFFERSON. SO FEW THEY DOUBT HAVE TIME TO GET THE TIMING OF THE GAME. NO WAY GENO BENCHES HARTLEY NO MATTER HOW POORLY SHE PLAYS. IF SHE SUCKS THE ENTIRE TOURNAMENT BUT HITS A BUZZ BEATER GAME WINNER TO PUT UCONN IN THE FINAL FOUR OR WIN IT ALL, GENO WILL HAVE THE LUCK OF THE IRISH AND LOOK LIKE A GENIUS.

  6. Gerri

    Replayed the ND game(I also like root canals) and saw several things that were crucial to the outcome. 1st was BS’s three point shot that became a two after the ref”s review. In every review that was replayed that we could view there was not one replay that showed she was on the line. How can they make that a two if it didn’t show it. Poor job from the play by play including RL for not calling them out on the reversal. 2nd, with 2:58 left McBride gets into trouble in front of her bench and picks up her dribble but looses the ball and it hits the floor and back into her hands. Isn’t that a double dribble. 3rd, just as soon she reestablishes control of the ball she is tied up but the ref grant’s ND a timeout called from the bench but she was tied up before the timeout call. McBride scores after the time out to give them 59. Lastly was the screw up of not resetting of the shot clock on KF’ miss that hit the rim. I’m not blaming the ref’s for the loss but take a look and see just how bad they were. Is this what the best teams in the Big E C deserve?

    1. You're Not Blaming The Refs At All

      About 10 paragraphs complaining about refs. How about the usual missed layups by Faris and Dolson. And then the 2 bonehead baseline drives by Faris with 25 seconds left. First one she hits the bottom of the rim. Second one she makes the 5th grader mistake of leaving her feet with no where to go. So Faris throws a bad pass to KML who then panics and throws a hail mary to Skylar. What about the bonehead plays by Hartley? What about Geno’s inability to create space for KML to get off a 3 point shot? What about Geno’s bonehead mistakes of calling a lob with 18 seconds to go and then failing to call a timeout when Faris lob to Stewart was off the mark? I’m not sayin’ any of this cost UConn the game. But is this the best UConn can recruit and play?

      1. You're Not Blaming The Refs At All

        obviously that should’ve said 10 sentences … stupid microsoft auto correct …

  7. Silverhawk

    Top 10 Excuses Why UConn Won’t Win National Championship:

    Ref #1
    Ref #2
    Ref #3
    Clock Keeper
    Other Team Cheated
    Other Team Was Dirty
    Other Team Held and Grabbed
    Geno Auriemma’s Brilliant Xs & Os
    Faris
    Hartley

  8. hp520

    Random thoughts from a Notre Dame season ticket holder:
    1. I love the passion of UConn fans. I can’t find a forum like this that discusses ND women’s basketball. The fan base here in South Bend is unique: very old (retired and older) or families, like mine. There’s no student support. Besides the pep band, there were two rows of students for the triple over time game against the Huskies.
    2. I have never thought it fair that the tournament is always played in Hartford, but I guess I don’t have to worry about that anymore.
    3. Until Muffet can start out-recruiting Geno, Notre Dame will never be the team UConn is.
    4. I’m not sure why UConn can’t beat ND, but it isn’t officiating. The calls go both ways.
    5. One thing I noticed in the past when ND couldn’t beat UCONN was that every time Geno would call time out in a close game, the Huskies would come out and run off 6,7,8 straight points. That doesn’t happen any more. I’m not sure why. Is it the players not being able to execute what Geno wants them to? Is it Geno not reaching the current players? Does he not know how to coach this group? I’m guessing the talent isn’t what it used to be.
    6. No matter how great of a player Skylar Diggins is, she is an even better person. Being a South Bend native, she truly loves this town and its people. I won’t bore you with the many stories I’ve heard, but trust me, she’s a well deserving hero around here. Does UConn have players like that? I’m guessing they do, but I wouldn’t hear about it here.
    7. I both love and hate Geno and the Huskies, but I absolutely can’t stand Baylor, their coach, and their players. I respect Geno and the program he’s put together. I think the players are great and I will miss having them come to town every year. Baylor? Not so much. I just can’t stand them.

    1. Awareness

      3. Until Muffet can start out-recruiting Geno, Notre Dame will never be the team UConn is.

      Obviously they don’t need to be. Also, isn’t it funny how we respect teams we beat and disrespect teams that beat us?

  9. Gerri

    Point was to highlight the constant awful officiating that too many times dictates the winner in the women’s game. There was plenty of blame to go around for the loss. Still would have liked to be leading by one rather than tied. Perhaps the loss one point would have more importance in the national championship game.

    1. Rbrons77

      Except for the ND games, the average margin of victory in UConn women games is like 36 points. I just don’t think you can point to one game and say that the constant awful officiating too many times dictates the outcome in the women’s game. Maybe UConn would play better in crunch time with a little experience at it, instead of so many games that are “garbage time” from 8 minutes in. Now, I don’t think there’s an easy solution to this, there just isn’t a lot of parity in the women’s game. And I don’t think UConn, Baylor and ND all being great is parity – not when UConn is winning their games by 40-60 points the majority of the season.

  10. FIRE GENO

    I’ve seen head coaches in college and pro sports accept responsibility for losses in post game press conferences – including super bowl head coaches like Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin when their teams lost. Geno Auriemma NEVER EVER starts off a post game press conference after a loss and takes blame. It’s always the 18-22 year olds and he throws them under the bus by name. But Auriemma ALWAYS TAKES CREDIT for national championships. His 18-22 year olds never win them for him.

    1. JD

      You are complete moron. Why are you even here if you are not a fan? Don’t watch if youy don’t like Geno. Simple.

  11. FREDDYKOOL

    FREDDYKOOL: AND, “OLD MAN RIVER,HE JUST KEEPS ROLLING,HE KEEPS RIGHT ON ROLLING ALONG!!!”

  12. mike mcmanus

    I said it before the last ND game and I’ll say it again. If UCONN wants to get to the Final Four, they have to limit their turnovers. It’s so simple…a turnover is a lost opportunity to score and a gift to the other team. When UCONN makes 15+ turnovers/game, they can still beat weak teams but it’s a recipe for defeat against the better teams in the tournament…and that includes many other teams in addition to Baylor & ND.

    1. William Sidis

      On behalf of the entire John Altavilla chat community, thank you for sharing this vital information. We now all have a different perspective on basketball fundamentals. I don’t care about spelling. And I won’t read your stupid reply.

  13. UconnFan

    Looking forward to the NCAA’s and a 4th game with ND in the final 4 match up with the winner going to the championship game and will be better than the championship game, since the committee will not put them in brackets where they could meet for the championship game.

  14. The Far Side

    The key to winning is scoring more points than the opponent. Why make it more complicated than that? The answer was staring at us right in the face. Sometimes we just can’t see the forest through the trees.

    1. William Sidis

      On behalf of the entire John Altavilla chat community, thank you for sharing this vital information. We had no idea. You must be in the Mensa society.

      1. TexasBogger

        Mr. Sidis: Point-counterpoint. Two sides to most stories. First Amendment rights. Thank god for freedoms.

  15. What A Rip Off

    UConn got ripped off! Notre Dame got the easiest path the the Final Four. It’s fixed. The committee wants Skylar to win a national championship because it would be great for the face of the sport. UConn’s got the toughest region. Stanford’s got an easy region too.

  16. John

    “The [losing] is frustrating and it’s getting old.”

    Give me a break, you lost 4 games this year.

    1. Bracchus

      This is the issue. UCONN fans have become accustomed to dominating women’s basketball. The last recruiting class included 3 of the top 5 high school graduates in the country. Uconn has always had top recruits. But, the tide is changing. Other schools are ratcheting up and parity is on the way.
      Ironically, this is the best thing that could happen to womens basketball. It is no longer just UCONN and Tennessee. As the competition increases and the rivalries develop the popularity of the womens game will increase.

  17. Rbrons77

    Leading quote in the article: “It’s something you don’t want to have had happened. They [the Irish] are our rivals. You don’t want to lose to anyone. But you especially don’t want to lose to your rivals.” Brilliant observation. Thank you Confucius of Storrs, CT.

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