Apr 8, 2014
08:50 AM
Connecticut Today

UConn Women Have an Edge Against Notre Dame in NCAA Championship Game

UConn Women Have an Edge Against Notre Dame in NCAA Championship Game

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Devereaux Peters #14 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish reaches to control a rebound against Kelly Faris #34 of the Connecticut Huskies during the National Semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship at Pepsi Center on April 1, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.

Sports of every type and on every level are filled with rituals and superstitions. Connecticut Magazine got on the bandwagon with the UConn men’s team run through the Final Four to an NCAA national championship Monday night, publishing and updating stories showing that the Huskies had a statistical edge over opponents in terms of converting big opportunities into national titles.

Along the way, that karma also somehow got linked to last Saturday’s open house at the Sugar Shack at UConn, via a “how sweet it is theme” that applied both to maple syrup event and the men’s team's sweet run to glory.

Tonight, it’s the women’s team’s turn to ride that sweet Connecticut karma to victory over former Big East archrival Notre Dame to a ninth national championship.

See our 2009 story on Geno Auriemma and the rise of UConn women's basketball

So here’s a little mojo we’re sending the way of the Huskies and Coach Geno Auriemma, starting with what might seem like some negatives before getting to the curative punch line:

Having moved from the Big East to different conferences, both UConn and Notre Dame are undefeated this season; UConn is 39-0 and Notre Dame is 37-0. (Above, Geno Auriemma looks on from the bench in the second half against the Stanford Cardinal during the NCAA Women's Final Four semifinal at Bridgestone Arena on April 6, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images).

Since the mid-1980s, the Fighting Irish have made the Final Four a total of five times, and won the national championship over Purdue in 2001.

In the recent past, Notre Dame has been one of UConn’s very few rivals to fear, if the Huskies can be said to fear any team. The Irish have won seven out of the last nine games with UConn.

But Notre Dame’s success is less impressive when it comes to the Big Dance. Following its national title in 2001, the Irish have continued to excel, having made the Final Four for four consecutive years. (UConn beat Notre Dame in last year’s semifinal game).

But there have been no more titles in those four years. In fact, the Irish have played in a total of four national title games, winning just one, in 2001, for a conversion rate of 25 percent.

UConn, meanwhile, will go to 9-0 in championship games by winning tonight—which means the Huskies are currently 8-0 in title games, a conversion rate of 100 percent.

Lots of other stats could be cited in the women’s team’s favor, but that one’s big enough to carry the team to victory—assuming you believe in sports superstitions and think that, just maybe, our stories on the 75 percent conversion rate of the men’s team in title games (three out of four) helped them to victory Monday night.

And, by the way, the men are now four for five in championship games, which ups their conversion rate to 80 percent. Karma for the 2014-15 season?

Go Huskies!

While celebrating the UConn men's national championship, it's intriguing to look back at our preseason profile of Coach Kevin Ollie:

UConn Men's Basketball Coach Kevin Ollie: The Overachiever

UConn Women Have an Edge Against Notre Dame in NCAA Championship Game

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