Updated: April 9, 2014, 6:12 AM ET

Latest UConn title embodies the Geno way

By Mechelle Voepel | espnW.com

Geno AuriemmaStacy Revere/Getty ImagesGeno Auriemma's tally after Tuesday? Five perfect seasons and a record nine NCAA titles.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- With every other moniker you could give UConn coach Geno Auriemma -- "The Dominator" or "The Closer" or "The Master" -- you might also refer to him as Cinderella's worst friend. Because once the Huskies get into the national championship game, all the fairy tales are over.

Auriemma's Huskies beat Notre Dame 79-58 on Tuesday night to earn the program's record ninth NCAA title. That passes Tennessee's Pat Summitt, who won her eighth and final title in 2008. UConn finished this season 40-0, and the big-time kid, sophomore Breanna Stewart, is now 2-for-2 in being named the Women's Final Four's most outstanding player.

Auriemma's record in the final is 9-0. No matter the opponent, no matter what adversity his team might have faced during the season, Auriemma always has his Huskies ready for the last game. More …

Mechelle Voepel covers the WNBA, women's college basketball, and other college sports for espnW. Voepel began covering women's basketball in 1984, and has been with ESPN since 1996.

On big stage, Stewart again delivers

By Graham Hays | espnW.com

Breanna StewartESPN Stats and InformationBreanna Stewart punished Notre Dame in the paint, particularly in the first half.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It was billed as the biggest game in the history of women's college basketball, an unprecedented pairing of undefeated teams with a championship on the line. The years to come might prove the billing accurate, or they might prove the hype and hubbub one more example of our tendency in the modern world to confuse most recent with most important.

What does seem fair to suggest is that it would be difficult to call anything the biggest game in the history of the sport if one of the all-time greats wasn't on the court to participate.

Legends make games legendary. Or maybe it's the other way around.

In the spirit of letting time run its course before writing history, perhaps Breanna Stewart isn't there yet. But after she totaled 21 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two blocks in Connecticut's 79-58 win against Notre Dame on Tuesday, it grows increasingly difficult to believe she won't be among her sport's all-time greats by the time she's done playing for the sport's most successful program.

Two seasons. Two NCAA championships. Two times the most outstanding player in the Final Four. More …

Graham Hays covers college sports for espnW, including softball and soccer. Hays began with ESPN in 1999.

Perfect season is perfect ending for seniors

By Michelle Smith | espnW.com

Stefanie DolsonAP Photo/John BazemoreStefanie Dolson, holding trophy, and Bria Hartley are two-time NCAA champions.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley didn't just dream of this ending. They expected it.

The Huskies' heart-and-soul seniors didn't imagine another scenario to cap their stellar college careers other than the one that played out Tuesday night in Nashville.

Dominant play, a struggling opponent, confetti falling, a celebration. More …

Voepel: Mosqueda-Lewis turns around season with tourney performance
Hays: Tough finish for Notre Dame seniors

Michelle Smith

Contributor, espnW.com
Michelle Smith has covered pro and college sports for AOL Fanhouse, the San Francisco Chronicle and espnW.

Pros and UConns of another Huskies title

By Kate Fagan | espnW.com

UconnAP Photo/John BazemoreThe Huskies have won four titles in six seasons. UConn went undefeated in three of them.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Millions of people tuned in to watch the two best teams in women's college basketball, both unbeaten through 76 combined games, play for all the marbles.

An epic showdown, the greatest women's basketball game ever played, one for the ages.

It was supposed to be all of that. But it ended up being one thing: a clinic, put on by the Huskies, the outcome obvious well before the buzzer. Notre Dame was the second-best team this season -- by a long shot. Tuesday, UConn was playing in a different league.

And therein lies a conundrum facing women's college basketball. One of the sport's biggest assets, UConn, also routinely clobbers opponents and produces games that are duds. This spectacular dominance will likely continue, as reigning AP Player of the Year Breanna Stewart is only a sophomore and has her sights set on winning two more national titles before her eligibility runs out. More …

Kate Fagan joined espnW in January 2012 after three seasons covering the 76ers for The Philadelphia Inquirer. She played basketball at the University of Colorado from 1999 to 2004.


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