Members of Connecticut celebrate after defeating Syracuse in the championship game at the women’s Final Four in the NCAA college basketball tournament Tuesday, April 5, 2016, in Indianapolis. Connecticut won 82-51. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
The dynasty fulfilled its destiny. It wasn’t a close championship game and neither were most of the previous games they played in the 2016 tournament, but history was made nonetheless. (Watch the video below for highlights…)
The UConn Women’s Basketball team has been the standard bearer under Coach Geno Auriemma as the great program to model after. Only Pat Summit at Tennessee had even come close in terms of excellence and winning titles, but tonight maybe the greatest class in history wrapped up their careers.
Connecticut’s three senior stars – Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck – became the first players to win national championships in all four of their collegiate seasons when the Huskies crushed Syracuse 82-51 on Tuesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
No women’s team ever had won more than three straight national titles, and the only men’s team to do so, UCLA from 1967 to 1973, did so before freshmen were eligible.
Coach Geno Auriemma passed UCLA men’s coach John Wooden with his 11th national title, and the Huskies finished 151-5 in the seniors’ time at UConn. Throw out the freshman year and it’s 116-1, with a current 75-game win streak.
“To do something that no one else has ever done with them, I mean, I keep saying, ‘Unbelievable’ as a word to describe it. But I don’t know what other word you could use,” Stewart said. “The fact that we made history together, that’s going to create a connection that will never be broken.”
Stewart dominated at both ends of the floor and was named the Most Outstanding Player for a fourth time. No one else has done so more than twice.
“These three leaving, the rest of the players coming back are in for a rude awakening,” Auriemma said. “But you can’t disregard what all this, the impact that it has on the players coming back.”
A dominating and historic season now closes for UConn and the expectations for next year begin. Could they get five in a row?
Watch highlights of their 2016 NCAA Final Four games below: