Still the gold standard
Shannon J. Owens
UConn has the right to lose every game for the next two years and still be considered an elite program.
Diminished legacy because of a Final Four loss? Puleeze. Most teams should be so fortunate to make it this far into the NCAA tournament multiple times.
The bar is set at perfection for the Huskies, and it's their own fault because they've been so good for so long. After a loss to Stanford ended their NCAA-record winning streak in December, they quickly regrouped to win 24 consecutive games before falling Sunday to Notre Dame, which UConn had defeated three times this season.
UConn's loss only highlights the greatness of its legacy. We were reminded that coach Geno Auriemma and his Huskies are actually error-prone human beings — not robots. Their place in college basketball history is set for life.
Plenty to be proud of
Connecticut almost did it again, stunning given that the Huskies had become a one-woman team with only six reliable players — including two freshmen — after Caroline Doty's injury and Samarie Walker's January transfer.
Even if that one woman was Maya Moore, who would be on everybody's all-time team, it wasn't enough against Notre Dame, which should have beaten UConn earlier in the year.
A lot of teams shoulda, coulda beaten the Huskies recently, but only two did in the previous 116 games: the Irish on Sunday and Stanford in December. So the Moore era at UConn ends with two NCAA titles and two losses in the national semifinals, a legacy to make any player or school proud.
In good company
The loss by UConn does nothing to diminish the Huskies' legacy.
What they had this season was Maya Moore and a bunch of players, including five freshmen, trying to find their way. They certainly did, getting to the national semifinals.
Notre Dame didn't shut down Moore on Sunday night, but the Irish took care of everyone else. The Huskies' lack of depth finally got to them.
This is a team that lost two talented seniors (Tina Charles, Kalana Greene) to graduation and an expected leader (Caroline Doty) to injury before the season, then had one of the freshmen (forward Samarie Walker) leave during the season.
In the end, the Huskies could not do it. But neither could the others who were supposed to — Stanford, Baylor and Tennessee. Pretty good company.
They'll be back
Los Angeles Times
Not one iota.
UConn is to women's basketball what John Wooden's UCLA teams were to the men's game in the late '60s and mid-'70s.
Notre Dame's victory over the two-time defending champion Huskies reminded of North Carolina State's victory over UCLA in the 1974 men's Final Four. The loss ended UCLA's run of seven consecutive NCAA championships.
Just as that defeat did nothing to diminish the legacies of Wooden and Bill Walton, UConn's loss takes nothing away from Geno Auriemma and Maya Moore.
It should be noted that UCLA came back without Walton and won the title the next year. Expect UConn, sans Moore, to be in contention to do the same.