These were not the undefeated Huskies of Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi and Swin Cash, who won the 2002 N.C.A.A. tournament with peerless talent. Nor were they the 2004 Huskies, who won with Taurasi and a cast of selfless role players.
Without a true superstar, this UConn team (35-4) fought through injury and self-doubt and prevailed with renewed assuredness, collective spirit and expectation, depth, conditioning and a relentlessness that made victory in the N.C.A.A. tournament seem not only possible but inexorable with a resurgence over the past month.