McGraw won 936 games as the head coach for Notre Dame and Lehigh during the course of her illustrious career. She won two NCAA championships and made the Final Four nine times. She’s a Basketball Hall of Famer but even off the court, the rivalry with the Huskies doesn’t appear to have died.
The coach appeared on Meadowlark Media’s “Off the Looking Glass” podcast with Katie Fagan and Jessica Smetana when she was asked about UConn’s influence.
“UConn has done great things, and 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 joined we 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,’” McGraw said.
“But I think it goes over the top with ESPN. That is Connecticut’s network. Notre Dame has NBC, Connecticut has ESPN. That is absolutely complete bias there.”
Since the 2000s, UConn and women’s basketball became synonymous. When you think UConn, you think women’s basketball and the run Geno Auriemma has gone on as head coach and the players the program produced on the national level in the WNBA and NCAA and the international level at the Olympics and overseas leagues.
But McGraw suggested there’s a media bias when it comes to the Huskies.
“I think there’s an incredible bias with their players. If you recruit a kid and she’s ranked 35th in the country and she signs with UConn, the next time the poll comes out, she’s 18t,” she said.
McGraw and Auriemma’s rivalry through the years had been very public before she decided to retire from coaching. McGraw said on the podcast she would say something about Auriemma and hear it from other coaches who she said told her to tone it down while Auriemma got off without any consequences.
In 2020, both parties fondly remembered their rivalries. McGraw said she “loved” the rivalry while Auriemma added there were some “great, great, great, great moments” between the two, according to the Hartford Courant.