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Lady Huskies turn perfect national title game into yet another blowout

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The Connecticut Lady Huskies had the chance to do on April 8 what the male Huskies did on April 7. Of course, the Connecticut men came from nowhere to win their NCAA tournament, while the lady Huskies were favored from day one to win their Final Four. Even with the perfect Huskies facing the similarly perfect Notre Dame Fighting Irish, this game of perfection turned into yet another blowout with a 79-58 win.

40-0 Connecticut gave 37-1 Notre Dame its first and only loss of the season in convincing fashion. For all the hype over this national championship game being the biggest in women's college basketball history -- and all the words between coaches Geno Auriemma and Muffet McGraw -- it was the same old kind of blowout for the Huskies.

Notre Dame's three point shooting was one of the only things that kept it close in the first half, as Connecticut led comfortably otherwise. Once the Huskies staged an 18-4 run to start the second half, they treated the perfect Irish like any other overmatch opponent this year -- and in the last 20 years.

This was the ninth consecutive national championship game Connecticut won in as many tries, which is well ahead of the fourth straight the men have won. Nevertheless, this was the first time the male and female Huskies won national championships in one year since 2004 -- a feat no other program has accomplished once.

The easy way the Huskies prevailed speaks to their true dominance, although it may be less flattering to women's college basketball. Even when two unbeaten teams played each other for the first time in any Final Four, Connecticut dominated and took all the suspense out early. The sport waited all year for this game, yet those in Storrs got the most out of it by far.

The Irish still have only one national championship in six trips to the Final Four, while the Huskies broke a women's college basketball record with their ninth, all since 1995. Only Connecticut and Tennessee have more than two women's Final Four titles, with the Lady Volunteers now trailing the Huskies by 9-8 and looking less likely to take back the lead anytime soon.

Connecticut will now have 13 national title banners hanging in Gampel Pavilion for its men and women -- but only one of the two new ones was unexpected.



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