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AP photographer Jessica Hill captured a shot of UConn coach Geno Auriemma patting Baylor coach Kim Mulkey on the backside before the start of the Bears’ impressive 76-70 road victory. Everything about the photo is memorable, from Mulkey’s stance, to Auriemma’s laser focus, to the giggling assistant coaches in the background.
Thankfully, the Connecticut Post’s Rich Elliott asked Auriemma about the exchange after the game and got an explanation for the unusual scene. Auriemma clarified it was a lighthearted, harmless moment between two longtime friends.
"She was staring at my butt and she was commenting on it and I said, ‘Really? How about yours?’"Auriemma told the Post. ”She went, `Yeah, look at it,’ and I went (slap), ‘I’ll teach you a lesson.’ And then she started talking about how she only dated Italians her whole life and that she wanted me to set her up with some Italians and I said `The Italians I send to see you aren’t going to date you.’ We’ve had a long and great relationship since, gosh, she was an assistant at Louisiana Tech. It goes back a long ways.”
One could make a strong case that four of the top five players at the NCAA women’s basketball tournament are graduates of Texas high schools.
Baylor post Brittney Griner and Stanford forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike are arguably the best two players in the nation. Baylor guard Odyssey Sims has already made one All-America team, and Cardinal forward Chiney Ogwumike gives Stanford a sister act that has lost a total of one game.
Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said she’s “a bit partial” but believes no state is more competitive in girls basketball than Texas.
"We’re our own country here in Texas," said Mulkey.
"Our state is so geographically big, you’re going to have a lot of players who can play at this level," Mulkey said. "I am so impressed with how competitive the state tournaments are, and we have a Texas Coaches Association that the coaches are proud of. You don’t see that in a lot of states."
Former Longhorns coach Gail Goestenkors has long boasted that Texas produces the most talented high school players, and this year is no different. In a list of the nation’s top 100 high school seniors provided by ESPN HoopGurlz, Texas leads all states with 11, including six in the top 30.
Baylor women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey has been diagnosed with Bell’s palsy, university officials announced Thursday.
The Lady Bears play Stanford in the women’s Final Four on Sunday. The university did not say if Mulkey’s condition would interfere with coaching the team.
Bell’s palsy is a form of facial paralysis from a dysfunction of the facial nerve, which results in the inability to control facial muscles of the affected side. The condition usually has a rapid onset of partial or complete paralysis.
Most cases go away completely within weeks or months.
"Coach Mulkey is being treated with an antiviral medication along with oral steroids to reduce the inflammation of the facial nerve," Trainer Alex Olson said in the school’s statement.