UConn Won't Apologize for Success - NBC Connecticut
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UConn Won't Apologize for Success

Auriemma understands that so much success so often have people resenting his team.

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    UConn Won't Apologize for Success

    One of the biggest problems facing the Huskies -- and a problem no other program in the country ever has to consider -- is the complacency that comes with annual trips to the NCAA Final Four.

    For UConn, it's the the eighth straight Final Four appearance, and Geno Auriemma is going for his 10th national title. But despite the familiarity with the spectacle, he won't let that distract his players from the task at hand.

    "We're not going down there thinking that we're so good that it doesn't matter," Auriemma said earlier this week, via the Associated Press. "... We don't buy into this nonsense that we're the only team that can win this thing, any more than I'm sure the rest of the country thinks Kentucky can't lose in the men's Final Four," Auriemma said on Wednesday during a conference call. "That's not the case at all. Things happen in the Final Four that you just don't expect."

    UConn faces Maryland on Sunday night, and the winner will face either Notre Dame or South Carolina in Tuesday's championship game. The Huskies throttled both the Fighting Irish and the Gamecocks earlier this season, but haven't faced the upstart Terps.

    "It's going to take a collective team effort," Terrapins coach Brenda Frese said. "Obviously in that Stanford game (UConn's only loss), they did a tremendous job collectively as a team. Defensively, they're a great scoring team and you've got to be able to take some things away. And then you have to have your own team that's gotta be able to keep pace in terms of being able to score."

    Meanwhile, Auriemma understands that his Huskies have become something like the Duke of the women's game -- so much success so often that people start to resent you. A lot.

    "All the naysayers are going to say it's bad," Auriemma said of UConn's winning. "I'm sure half the people in women's basketball want us to lose, maybe more than half. Some maybe are just tired of it. Nothing we can do about that. ... My players work just as hard, if not harder than anybody else. ...

    "The good teams are going to be good all the time because they have the culture of winning. And, it's up to everybody else to catch up," he continued.

    "I think the catching up is happening. We're not invincible. We're not unbeatable. I just think that we've been on an amazing run," he added. "And it's going to end. Somebody's going to knock us off, maybe this weekend. Who knows? We'll have to start all over at some point to build it back up."