Huskies Open Against Vermont

Undefeated UConn Women Begin Quest for National Title

Don't tell Geno Auriemma he has an easy road to the Final Four.

Connecticut, as expected, begins its quest for the program's sixth women's national title on Sunday as the top seed in the NCAA tournament, in the Trenton Region.

The Huskies (33-0) will play 16th-seed Vermont (21-11) in the opening round. The Catamounts secured their fifth trip to the NCAAs, and first since 2000, by upsetting Boston University for the America East title on Sunday.

The winner -- and if it's not UConn it'll go down as one of the greatest upsets in the history of American team sports -- gets either No. 8 seed Florida (23-7) or No. 9 seed Temple (21-9) in round two on the Huskies' home court at Gampel Pavilion.

UConn, which has won its 33 games by an average of over 31 points, is the overwhelming favorites to win it all.

"We're Muhammad Ali riding Secretariat," Auriemma joked after watching television pundits declare his team virtually unbeatable.

The top challengers in UConn's region are second-seeded Texas A&M, which ranked ninth in the final AP poll, California and Florida State.

Auriemma said despite all the talk of a weak region, and the Huskies' invincibility, he's sure none of those other teams plan to allow UConn to cruise to St. Louis.

"If you're any of the teams in our bracket, I'm sure you would take that as an insult, and they should," he said. "I like the bracket, because I like our team. Some years, I'm not sure about our team and I worry about the bracket. I like the bracket and I like our team."

What's not to like?

UConn is the nation's only undefeated team, and will be seeking its third perfect season and just the fifth in the history of Division I women's basketball.

"This is something we can be talking about for the rest of our lives, going undefeated and everything like that," center Tina Charles said. "But we just have to take it one game at a time."

Sophomore star Maya Moore said the Huskies are not overconfident, but motivated after losing in the 2008 national semifinals to Stanford.

"Last year we thought we shouldn't have lost when we did, but it happened so it just keeps us focused," she said. "It keeps us humble and knowing that if we don't play our best; if we don't play our 'A' game, we could lose."

That doesn't mean they expect to lose.

"I'm going in with the attitude that if we continue to play our game, and continue to do what we're doing, and don't overlook anyone, then we should be OK," guard Renee Montgomery said. "I'm just not going to go into the tournament thinking we're going to beat everyone by 30 points."



etting Boston University for the America East title on Sunday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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