For UConn, a perfect ending

Indianapolis — Confetti dropped from the heavens Tuesday night inside Bankers Life Field House, commemorating the 11-ring circus that's become UConn women's basketball.

Yes, the women of Storrs won another one, their 11th national championship, throttling Syracuse, 82-51, adding more historical narratives to the program that already inspires a compendium.

UConn's senior class became the first in the history of women's college basketball to win four national championships.

Moriah Jefferson, Breanna Stewart and Morgan Tuck know no other way to end a season than to become awash in confetti.

Of course, that's true of every other UConn player who has ever played in a national championship.

They've never lost. Eleven tries, 11 wins.

"Preparing for the moment started back when the season started," UConn associate head coach Chris Dailey said. "Not taking shortcuts and mental toughness and all of those things that you build to. You feel like you put your work in so that you prepare for that moment."

So much for one shining moment. Not at UConn. It's 11.

"We've generally put ourselves in the position where we've got enough talent, we've got enough ability to win, and our confidence level is really high," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "And you've got (11) championships, right? Three people are directly responsible for (nine) of them. So when you've got those three in your lineup, Stewie, 'D,' and Maya (Breanna Stewart, Diana Taurasi and Maya Moore)."

"At this time of the year, generally speaking, if you have the best player on the floor, good things can happen."

"And generally speaking, every time we've come to the Final Four with one of those guys, we've had the best player on the floor. Doesn't mean they won all the time. So, you know, like everybody else, streaks are meant to end. Some day."

Just not today.

m.dimauro@theday.com


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