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UConn Women Make 10th Straight Final Four Appearance


The University of Connecticut women's basketball team is just a juggernaut.


The Huskies are in their 10th consecutive Final Four and going for their 12th national championship overall.

SHAPIRO: Oh, also, they have won a mind-scrambling 111 straight games, an NCAA record for both men and women.

MCEVERS: Tonight they face Mississippi State at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. South Carolina and Stanford round out the semifinals. Gus Contreras of member station KERA wonders, can anyone beat UConn?

GUS CONTRERAS, BYLINE: Even when you've won 111 games in a row, every little bit of practice counts. UConn's practices are known to be intense. And this is their last practice before their Final Four matchup. This batch of Huskies might be on an epic winning streak, but don't tell that to head coach Geno Auriemma. Every group is different to him.


GENO AURIEMMA: They don't own any of those 10 Final Fours. They don't own any of those 11 national championships. They only own part of the streak. I mean, the only thing that this team has to hold onto - I've said this before - is the 36 wins that they have right now this year.

CONTRERAS: The winning streak dates back to the 2014 season. The Huskies are in the midst of a golden age of hoops. They've won the last four national championships. But can anybody really stop them? Nancy Lieberman's an assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings in the NBA. Her Old Dominion team went 125-15 in her time there.

NANCY LIEBERMAN: You have to be perfect. You have to hit every one of your shots.

CONTRERAS: And maybe Connecticut has to have a bad night, but Lieberman has her doubts.

LIEBERMAN: They have to not be mentally, physically, emotionally prepared, which I don't think that will happen.

CONTRERAS: The last time the Huskies lost a game was nearly three years ago to Stanford, who happens to be on the other side of the bracket. South Carolina? UConn beat them in February. And Mississippi State - Connecticut knocked them out of last year's tournament by 60 points. The difference in this year's group is their demeanor, says Auriemma. They don't show that killer instinct of past teams.


AURIEMMA: They haven't become what I hoped they would become, you know, like edgy. I mean, they just have this attitude like everything will be fine, don't worry about it. And yet, they keep winning.

CONTRERAS: Two more wins could bring another championship and keep the winning streak alive. For NPR, I'm Gus Contreras in Dallas. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Gus Contreras