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Geno Auriemma remembers controversial 2021 UConn-Baylor ending

(David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

Yes, the UConn Huskies remember the controversial no-foul call that helped send them to the Final Four over Baylor in 2021.

No, the Huskies don’t feel the need to rehash the past, even as they prepare to face the Bears in a rematch of that rivalry game in the second round of this year’s NCAA Tournament.

“I already knew this question was coming,” Aaliyah Edwards said Sunday when asked about the play. “I mean, feelings from that game, we won it. So I think that’s really what I take from that game.”

Edwards, then a freshman, played a key role in the play in question. She and teammate Olivia Nelson-Ododa blocked a potential game-winning jump shot from Dijonai Carrington with seconds remaining in the Elite Eight clash.

The question: Did either of the Huskies foul Carrington on the shot? The referees said no, and UConn kept its lead and won the game. But the sting of the loss and the no-call sharpened the rivalry between the programs.

UConn coach Geno Auriemma downplayed the ending of the 2021 contest.

“If I remember correctly about that particular game, there were a lot of fouls in that game,” he said. “Some were called, some were not. Whether that one was a foul or not, I don’t know.”

Still, he did acknowledge the heated nature of the competition between No. 2 seed UConn and No. 7 seed Baylor ahead of Monday’s game, which is set to tip off at 9 p.m. ET at Gampel Pavilion in Connecticut. The winner will advance to play either No. 3 seed Ohio State or No. 6 seed North Carolina in a Sweet 16 matchup on Saturday.

The Huskies and the Bears have faced off nine times, with the Huskies holding a narrow 5-4 advantage in the series.

“It certainly has been a lot of games — a lot of big games,” Auriemma said. “I don’t know how many times we’ve played them but it seems like every time we do play them there’s a lot at stake. There’s a lot of great players on the floor.”