STORRS, Conn. (WTNH) — Dozens of fans lined up outside Gampel Pavilion to send off the UConn Huskies who are heading to their ninth straight final four where they could make history again.
Breanna Stewart who hopes to capture her fourth straight title spoke to the crowd. “You know we’re coming here with a mission and we’re going to come back with another trophy,” she said to the cheering fans.
The Huskies and their fans are not phased at all by a recent tweet by Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy saying their success is “… killing women’s game. Watch? No thanks”
“When you already know who’s gonna win… again it’s not they’re fault… but that makes it less interesting to me,” Shaughnessy said in a recent interview.
When asked about the tweet at a press conference last weekend Geno Auriemma simply said don’t watch
“When Tiger was winning every major nobody said he was bad for golf,” Auriemma added. “Actually he did a lot for golf.”
“I think the women’s team needs to do this in order to push women’s basketball up because it’s not getting the respect it deserves right now,” says UConn junior Nick Landock.
“Hopefully as other teams improve it will be just more and more exciting,” says UConn Sophomore Colin Martin. “They’re getting more skilled.”
“You know this is sexism in it’s prime form,” says UConn freshman Matt Keltos. “It’s ridiculous.”
“I’ve been to finals where they’ve lost,” says Roseanne Fitzgerald. “So nothing’s a given.”
Even the young fans know that but they do want to see some competition.
“Close game cause it’s more interesting. Yeah,” say Erin Fitzgerald and Emma Carpenter who skipped school in Ellington to see the team off.
“If we ever stop acting like it’s a big deal then it’s time to stop doing it,” Geno Auriemma told reporters.
The coach isn’t going to stop doing it anytime soon. He then addressed the crowd.
“I can just say one thing. There’ll be ten times as many of you when we come back,” he said sparking a loud cheer.
The Huskies face Oregan State in the Final Four on Sunday.