On Wednesday night, the second episode of UConn: The March to Madness aired on HBO.
After the debut last week, viewers saw how the UConn women’s basketball team dealt with the pressure and expectations of the program’s past success in a season where the team’s talent wasn’t considered to be on the same level as years past. Obviously, the Huskies have continued to prove doubters wrong, as the team currently owns a 107-game win streak.
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In the second episode, viewers see the team continue to work as the Huskies season heads into their conference tournament. The show honestly depicts the struggle that athletes endure as they fight injury, and cameras bring you behind the scenes of the rehab for junior guard Kia Nurse. The episode provides some more great quotes from head coach Geno Auriemma, and there is even a scene where Katie Lou Samuelson milks a cow — not joking.
Here are some of the best moment’s from Part 2:
1. The pressure and the winning streak are still very much alive in the second episode of the series. Auriemma says that given everything the team has accomplished if they get beat in the national championship he would be cool about it and that the team “maxed out on everything we need to max out on.” As the first episode showed the coach’s intensity and passion, it’s hard to imagine a loss sitting well with him. However, it’s nice to hear Auriemma’s acknowledgement of the program’s historic success.
2. Injuries are a part of the game that is not often seen by the average fan. In this episode, the cameras followed junior guard Kia Nurse as she went through various rehab treatments for her ankle injury with hopes she could hit the court strong and healthy again. You see the time and various routines Nurse must commit to in order to get better. The episode follows her in the pool and the weight room and shows the technology behind the art of recovery. It’s a cool insider view to a huge aspect of the game fans don’t always see.
3. There was a Sue Bird sighting in this episode as the WNBA player participated in drills at the UConn gym one day. Auriemma spoke about just how hard it is to be a professional athlete and the importance of getting better because there is always someone out to take your job. Auriemma asks Bird if she was tired and how the work out went. I guess once your coach, always your coach.
4. The episode follows the team as the Huskies headed into postseason play. “You wait all year and if you are lucky you are able to play three weekends in March,” Auriemma said to the cameras before the team played in the American Athletic Conference tournament.
The coach talks about how no one else knows what it’s like to win the conference tournament and imparts some honest wisdom to his team.
“Anytime you are entitled to something you should get nothing” is the message he leaves with his team before they travel to Uncasville, Conn, which is 30 miles south of UConn’s campus.
In a second round game of the tournament vs. UCF, the Huskies do not come out in their typical dominating fashion. Auriemma points out that when it doesn't go their way they back up, but they pick up the pace to win and head to the finals. You got to think it’s hard being so used to winning for this team. UConn defeats USF in the final 100-44 and Auriemma admits it’s difficult to not be proud of everything the team has accomplished despite the journey that is ahead in the upcoming weeks.
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5. In case you didn't know, UConn was originally an agricultural school when it was first founded in 1881, and that curriculum is still very present on campus. Senior Tierney Lawlor, is a sustainable agriculture major and made the team as a walk-on her freshman year. She brings teammate Samuelson to milk cows and introduce her to life on the farm. It’s an endearing moment as Samuelson talks about the spirit and dedication Lawlor brings to the team. Lawlor even gets some playing time in the Huskies’ first game of the AAC tournament.
7. Some stand out cool moments of this episode include:
- When the team walks into a restaurant for dinner before its first AAC game and fans cheer. That is celebrity status for sure. But one of the biggest celebrities of all is Samuelson, who takes photos with fans as her father waits for her patiently. He traveled 3,000 miles to see her play, and luckily he witnessed her break an NCAA record for the most three-pointers without a miss, as she went 10-for-10.
- Got to say the music is pretty awesome in this show. Who doesn’t love some epic sports footage with a powerful track?
- Geno has some more epic quotes once again. One that stood out is “It’s in their nature for kids not to worry, I get paid to worry what is down the road.”
The next episode airs on March 15 at 10 P.M. ET/PT on HBO.