These Huskies didn't reach the statistical high-water marks of the 2002 team—the 35.4 point scoring margin, the 846 assists—but they did become the first Division I squad (men's or women's) to beat every opponent by double digits. And they faced a stronger conference field than the 2002 team did. (In '02 the Big East got five teams into the NCAA tournament, and only Connecticut survived to the Sweet 16. This year seven Big East teams got in—an eighth, South Florida, was on the bubble—and four reached the second weekend. For the first time, two made the championship game.) "I'm not going to say this team was better than the '95 or the '02 team," says assistant Jamelle Elliott, who was a member of the '95 team and an assistant on the '02 team. "But the way we beat teams this year was really impressive. I don't remember going through the season and beating the Top 25 teams as badly as we beat them this year."
On paper, that's not what you might have expected of this team. "I don't think if you looked top to bottom on this roster, people would be scared of us," says Dailey. "In 2002 we had the best starting five, and we were physically and athletically imposing and our skills were imposing. I don't know that people look at Renee and find her imposing from a physical standpoint. I don't think if you looked at the roster, you'd say, Man, that's a 39-0 team. But there was something special about them. They made coming to practice fun, they made road trips fun, they accepted every challenge. They are why you are in coaching."
Wherever this team settles into the pantheon—and that will be a happy discussion for Connecticut fans for years to come—it will be remembered for having the same competitive fire that has marked every champion before it. After the shootaround the day of the final, Auriemma talked to his players about the significance of that night's game. "I was hoping I would be able to get something across like, If we lose today, what do we lose? I wanted to say, It's just a game. You don't lose who you are. You don't lose what we've done. You don't lose the incredible accomplishments that we've had. So I said, 'Lemme ask you guys a question: If we lose the game tonight, what did we lose?' And Renee goes, 'Everything!' And I'm like, There goes that speech!' To her it was everything, and I'm glad it turned out exactly the way it did."