The Connecticut Huskies punched their ticket to their 12th consecutive Final Four by defeating Louisville in the Albany Regional. UConn head coach Geno Auriemma is astonished by this feat.
“I don’t think it’s supposed to happen,” Auriemma stated. “Not in today’s world the way things change and teams keep getting better and better. It’s not normal. It’s something that’s hard to describe because even if you’re writing a book and making it up, people would say it doesn’t happen in real life. It has happened in real life. I’m still boggled, my mind doesn’t get how it can happen this many years in a row with a different cast of characters that change so often. No it’s not normal, it’s not normal.”
The Huskies (35-2) have firmly implanted themselves as one of the blue blood programs in the countries years ago. Prior to this Final Four run, Connecticut already has six national championships and once trotted about the sport with a 111-game winning streak. The winning streak began in 2014 and ended in 2017.
This season’s team has been very good, continuing on with that tradition. With the run this deep into the Big Dance, it still has numerous pundits questioning their seed going into the tournament. UConn was the No. 2 seed in the Albany Region this year. Many believe this team should have been a No. 1 seed after winning both the AAC regular season and conference tournament championships.
Hindsight allows everyone to look smart.
Although this version of the program continues UConn’s successful run, how does this specific team stack to Huskies teams from yesteryear?
Let’s take a comparison between this team and the 2012-12 national championship team.
|2018-19 UConn||2012-13 UConn|
|Points Per Game||82.9||82.5|
|Points Allowed Per Game||55.9||49.8|
|Field Goal %||49.3||49.8|
|Rebounds Per Game||37.1||38.9|
|Assists Per Game||19.7||20.5|
|Steals Per Game||8.1||10.7|
|Blocks Per Game||4.4||6.2|
|Turnovers Per Game||11.5||14.1|
The 2012-13 UConn Huskies were clearly a great team. It also worth noting it was the campaign that began the sensational career of Breanna Stewart. During that season, Stewart averaged 13.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. That was the beginning of the run of four straight national championships as well. That team featured players such as Stefanie Dolson, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Morgan Tuck and Moriah Jefferson.
There’s some similarities here, as this team also has an outstanding freshman talent in Christyn Williams. Like Stewart, Williams came to UConn as the No. 1 overall recruit in the country. This season, she is averaging 11.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. Connecticut also has phenomenal upperclassmen leadership in Napheesa Collier, Katie Lou Samuelson and Crystal Dangerfield.
Briefly looking at the comparisons, this year’s UConn Huskies seems to be evenly matched compared to the 2012-13 Huskies. The stark difference between the two teams is that this season’s team does a better job protecting the basketball. Also, the 2012-13 national champions were better at stopping opponents from scoring the basketball.
It is the Final Four, and as seen over the past few years, anything can happen. UConn still has a strong chance of bringing home the championship. Though they are not as dominant as they were in the past, the Lady Huskies are still a talented team.
Whether it is a team effort or one player transcending everyone to lead the team, opponents should still be mindful of the Connecticut Lady Huskies.
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