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UConn’s Geno Auriemma Wants Women’s Final Four to be Taken More Seriously

The press conferences ahead of the national semifinals games deviated away from basketball.

UConn head coach Geno Auriemma talks with Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw before the Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs UConn Huskies women's college basketball game in the Women's Jimmy V Classic at the XL Center in Hartford, CT on December 3, 2017.
UConn head coach Geno Auriemma talks with Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw before the Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs UConn Huskies women’s college basketball game in the Women’s Jimmy V Classic at the XL Center in Hartford, CT on December 3, 2017.
Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

The NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four is the pinnacle of the women’s college game. Two wins and you’re the national champion and the best team for the respective season.

Sure the UConn Huskies are playing the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Friday night for the right to go to the National Championship game. So the press conferenced reflected that, right? Wrong.

Instead one reporter brought the presser away from the game between the players when he asked the following to Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw:

Kim Mulkey was in here saying, If we weren’t all competitors trying to go for the same thing, we’d probably be all friends. She said some of us would probably even be married. I know you’re married, I know Geno is married, but do you think you two would have a normal relationship if you weren’t competing every year for the same thing?

McGraw laughed and said she wouldn’t marry Geno. And when this same question was posed to the UConn head coach, he said he wouldn’t marry himself.

That’s not the point though.

Jokes aside, Auriemma’s answer turned more austere.

“We want to be taken seriously,” he said. “Let’s talk about sports, let’s talk about the game. Let’s not talk about the other nonsense that’s on TMZ. If we want to be taken seriously, let’s act seriously.”

This isn’t the Super Bowl media day where jokes questions are expected. This is the Final Four where the athletes and coaches, not only here, but throughout all of women’s basketball — from youth all the way to the pros — should be treated with respect.