Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Let's start by making this clear: there is no doubt who the No. 1 team in the nation is and there is no doubt who should be treated as such when the NCAA selection committe meets this weekend in Indianapolis.

UConn showed itself to be as battle tested as it is talented. But there are reasons to be concerned. Two straight games that Ketia Swanier was scoreless in the second half; two straight games the Huskies stunk in the second half; no one was clearly dominant over three games.

Geno Auriemma was just happy that his team was able to win tonight, and that's fine. He should feel that way. A major hurdle has been cleared and now the team can use a much needed break before it plays again on Easter Sunday in Bridgeport against a team yet to be named.

The time away should help Maya Moore, who is definitely feeling the foul from the regular season finale against Rutgers. She said she wasn't 100 percent on Friday and three games in three days doesn't help.

What Auriemma did say bothered him was that Renee Montgomery looked out of it in shootaround and for most of the game. It was when Louisville came within a point that her eyes lit up as if she knew what to do. That she sleepwalked for 35 minutes didn't sit well. I am sure he's already said something. He's not worried about her, after all, she's the captain. But knowing how Geno needles his players, "Ne-Ne" is no exception.

"Renee was asleep today from shootaround," Auriemma said. "There was a segment in shootsround today that she didn't move from one spot for 10 minutes. She was guarding the shooter, so she didn't move for 10 minutes. Then she showed up tonight, missed a couple shots; she snoozed through the whole first half. In the second half, you knew that if she got a chance she's going to start making plays. The one things about Renee is that she's so competitive that she gets so mad at herself when she doesn't do what she thinks she can do. So any chance she gets to get on the line to put the game away, she loves that scenario. ... She was smiling from ear to ear."

He later said: "The thing that bothers you as a coach was that was the only time Renee looked like we were going to win the game. As soonas they cut ot to one, she had this look like, 'Alright, now it's time to play.' Like she was bored the rest of the time. I'm like, 'You know what? Knucklehead, if you hadn;t been snoozing all this time it wouldn't be a one-point game. God bless her; she's a gamer."

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