Believe it or not, but once upon a time, Connecticut would go whole seasons at a time without winning the NCAA women's basketball title.
In 2006, for instance, the Huskies did not even make the Final Four. They hadn't made the national semifinals the year before, and they wouldn't the year after. It was a different time. Donald Trump was known mainly for saying, "You're fired." There was still a housing bubble. We didn't have "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" or the iPhone.
What we did have was an up-and-coming fourth-year coach at Maryland whose team almost never lost, and never in overtime.
On April 4, 2006, 10 years ago today, second-seeded Maryland defeated No. 1 seed Duke, 78-75, in overtime for its first and only NCAA title. Kristi Toliver's last-second 3-pointer to tie the game in Boston was the spark that quite literally set cars aflame in College Park.
Funny the way tear glands work. Six seconds away from disappointment. You bet they would've been crying courtside. A freshman guard — a young woman who gave up 12 turnovers two days ago, who shot just 1-for-9 from the field in the first half — was falling backward behind the three-point arc as the final seconds ticked away. It's in. Tie game. You bet they cried."
That group of players never got back to the Final Four (Frese did bring the Terps back in 2014 and 2015), but its one shining moment lifted the program to the nation's upper crust. And with Connecticut set to graduate its core of stars and maybe abdicate its throne, and with Maryland returning two All-Americans and bringing in the nation's top recruiting class, the Terps should be among the favorites to win their second title in 2017.
Whenever that championship happens — if it happens — it won't be as memorable as the first.