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BC-BKW--NCAA-UConn Rally,1st Ld-Writethru

April 2, 2019
AP Sports Writer

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Hundreds of fans, some lined up three or four deep behind barriers, waited almost an hour outside Gampel Pavilion to cheer on the UConn women’s basketball team as headed out to program’s record 20th Final Four.

The Huskies, who will be making a 12th straight trip to the national semifinals, will be trying to extend another record by winning a 12th national championship, their first since 2016.

Coach Geno Auriemma says he is “thrilled there is a feeling of joy” among fans this season, with more close games and two regular-season losses.

He says the fans had become spoiled by the expectation of winning.

UConn faces Notre Dame in the national semifinals on Friday in Tampa. The Irish beat the Huskies 91-89 on a buzzer-beater in overtime in last year’s Final Four.