Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

In retrospect, outcomes like last night's national championship for UConn, and even its undefeated season, seem inevitable: the 39-0 season, the double-digit wins, and the rest of it seem, in the story that fans will tell, like they just had to follow from all that UConn had in its favor when the season began.

Look at Renee's renewed focus, Maya's unmatchable skills, Tina's better-than-ever determination, Geno's Xs-and-O's skills, and so on: look at how superior the Huskies seemed in the very first 'big' game of the year. It had to happen, didn't it? Didn't it?

No, it didn't. We are storytelling beings-- all of us, but especially serious fans-- and we like stories that give reasons for what happened, whether it's bad, inevitable, tragic or (if you're a Huskies fan) long-awaited and awesome.

But the Huskies could not have won if they had believed their own win inevitable, and, and they needed some luck, at least in the form of a relative respite from the big-injury bug-- Heather Buck got sick and Doty went down in January, but after the Syracuse game the Huskies had no other big injuries all year.

As for the season so for the game Tuesday night. If Renee and Maya shoot as badly as they shot in last night's first half, but Tina Charles has a bad day instead of a great one, Louisville could have been a real threat. (For about twelve minutes, they were.)

Geno's players never lacked reminders, because he and his coaching staff, and even alums who dropped by to say hi, knew all that. But fans and reporters (reporters more than fans) who treated title number six as foreordained need reminding: you only get something like this if you get a few breaks and you work together nonstop, even if you're the favorites going in.

And the Huskies are barely off the plane and back at Storrs, but they're already putative favorites for next year-- not unlike the post-perfection Taurasi-led team of 2002-03.

"I don't want to ever burden these guys with what Diana did," Geno says now. He knows that these guys know how tough it was.