Geno Auriemma to those who say UConn’s dominance is bad for the sport: ‘Don’t watch’

Connecticut’s women’s basketball team is just three wins from an unprecedented fourth straight NCAA title, following a record 98-38 win over Mississippi State in the Sweet 16.

Some, like Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy, think such dominance is bad for the sport.


Huskies Coach Geno Auriemma was asked Sunday to address Shaughnessy’s comments. He said his team faces such criticism “day in, day out, year in, year out.” His advice to critics like Shaughnessy?

“Don’t watch. Nobody’s putting a gun to your head to watch,” Auriemma said. “So don’t watch, and don’t write about it. Spend your time on things you think are important. If you don’t think this is important, don’t pay any attention to it. The fact you have to comment on it? Says something about you, doesn’t it?”

The Huskies have won 72 straight games -- a streak longer than all others except their own 90-win mark from a couple of years ago. Every one of those victories in the current run has been by double digits.

Auriemma has coached UConn since 1985 and has 10 national titles to his credit, including three in the last three years and five in the last seven.

Would the sport really be better off if its best team wasn’t as good?

“When Tiger [Woods] was winning every major, nobody said he was bad for golf. Actually, he did a lot for golf,” Auriemma said. “He made everybody have to be a better golfer. And they did. And now there’s a lot more great golfers because of Tiger.”

Texas Coach Karen Aston -- whose team lost to the Huskies by 51 points in last year’s Sweet 16 and face them Monday in the Elite Eight -- seems to agree with Auriemma’s assessment.

“I think we all need to get more competitive,” she said Sunday. “Players need to get in the gym; we all need to get better and continue to try to grow the game, period.”