Muffet McGraw says ESPN has ‘complete bias’ for UConn

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Former Notre Dame women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw thinks that ESPN has “absolutely complete bias” in regards to UConn, calling it “Connecticut’s network.”

McGraw appeared on “Off the Looking Glass,” a podcast hosted by Kate Fagan and Jessica Smetana. When asked if she believes UConn has an “outsized” influence on women’s basketball, McGraw let loose.

“Absolutely,” she said. “I think there’s an incredible bias with their players. If you recruit a kid and she’s ranked 35th in the country and then she signs with UConn, the next time the poll comes out she’s 18th.”

McGraw, who won two NCAA titles with Notre Dame and retired in 2020, also pointed to the fact that four UConn players were named to the Naismith Trophy preseason watch list released in November. Along with individual position awards, the Huskies currently have six players on different watch lists.

“So six of their players are nominated, and you saw their game after they lost Paige [Bueckers],” she said, referencing UConn’s 57-44 loss to then-unranked Georgia Tech. “You have to wonder, do they really have three other player of the year candidates? But I think there’s such a bias in the media that they just go that way.”

Still, McGraw isn’t downplaying UConn’s accomplishments. Under coach Geno Auriemma, the Huskies have won 11 NCAA titles, reaching the Final Four 21 times – including every year since 2008.

“UConn has done great things,” McGraw continued. “They’ve won, way more than anybody else except Tennessee. What they’ve done has been amazing. I think people measure their team by them. When we joined the Big East, we were like, ‘We want to get to where they are. That’s what we want to be. We’re trying to emulate them.’

“But I think it goes over the top with ESPN. That is Connecticut’s network. Notre Dame has NBC and Connecticut has ESPN and that is absolutely, complete bias there.”