UConn Goes for 10th Title Tonight

Perhaps it's only fitting that UConn will have to go through rival Notre Dame for title No. 10.

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Geno Auriemma has never lost in an NCAA title game. He and the Huskies have been there nine times, and nine times they have emerged national champions. It's a remarkable feat, one of many on Auriemma's resume built over more than a quarter-century in Storrs.

"To be in that situation nine times and to have it all work out our way, that's kind of improbable, when you look back at it," Auriemma said, via the Hartford Courant. "You don't realize while you're doing it, but when you bring it up and you really force yourself to look back, man, I really can't explain it either.

"It's going to end. It might end [Tuesday]. Might end if we're in that situation next year, the following year. This isn't something that's going to last forever. We're not going to win every single championship game that we're in, if we're in some more, but up to this point, man, it's something that's really hard to explain. And I'm just incredibly grateful."

So perhaps it's only fitting that UConn will have to go through rival Notre Dame for title No. 10.

"The rivalry is as heated as ever," Fighting Irish coach Muffet McGraw said. "UConn knows what Notre Dame is going to do. Notre Dame knows what UConn is going to do."

Auriemma didn't disagree.

"They're a lot like us," he said. "I think at Notre Dame and Connecticut, we don't try to have great teams. Our goal, and I don't think their goal is any different, is they're not interested in having a great team. Their program now kind of sustains great teams year in and year out."

Meanwhile, Auriemma is on the verge of tying John Wooden, the legendary UCLA coach, for most national titles. Not surprisingly, he was having none of that discussion.

"Trying not to listen to people talk about what the record is," Auriemma said. "Because if you play in enough of these games, you're going to lose at some point. We've played in a lot of these. We've played in nine of them. And we won all nine.

"I hope we play in nine more while I'm at Connecticut, and the thought that we're going to go 18-0 in these games ... if that happens ... it's ludicrous. Ludicrous.

"So we're going in on Tuesday, it's one game. One night for the season, really. The other nine aren't going to have any bearing on it. [They're] not going to mean anything. At least not for me."

And probably not to Notre Dame either.

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