A trip to the White House in early June has become business as usual for the Connecticut women, but this year President Barack Obama was treated to a double dose of the Huskies.
Coach Geno Auriemma's women's team was joined in the East Room by Kevin Ollie's men's squad Monday to be honored by the President as NCAA Division I basketball national champions.
The trip was the fourth in six years for the Connecticut women. The men completed the sweep for the first time in the tournaments since UConn did it in 2004.
"As President, one of my goals has been to eliminate waste and cut out duplicative programs to make things a little more efficient, but this might be carrying things a little too far," Obama joked in his opening remarks as Auriemma smiled in the background.
Obama also lauded both Huskie teams for their performance in the classroom. The Connecticut men's team was deemed ineligible for the 2013 NCAA tournament after posting a failing mark in the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate.
For Ollie, who visited the White House in 2011 as an assistant coach, Connecticut's journey from academically ineligible to national champions was made all the sweeter.
"It took a lot of hard work, a lot of ups and downs in the season, but our guys stayed resilient and stayed patient with the process," Ollie said after the ceremony. "They jumped out of their egos."
The highlight of the women's journey proved much more light-hearted — a dance-off between President Obama and Huskie center Stefanie Dolson that was more than a year in the making. After the President gave a quick shimmie at the podium, Dolson upped the ante when she took a spill getting back onto the risers after presenting Obama with a Connecticut jersey. Dolson wasn't surprised that the President remembered their wager.
"It probably helped that I fell," she said.
The White House's resident bracketologist, Obama gave himself a pat on the back for picking the Connecticut women to cut down the nets in Nashville. Watching the Huskies go 40-0 and win their games by an average of 34.3 points, the President remarked that Connecticut's title run was far from suspenseful.
As for the men, who the President predicted to fall in the Round of 32 to Villanova, he sought solace that "neither did anybody else (pick them), unless they went to UConn."
The Huskies have been the NCAA's most frequent visitors to the White House ceremonies during the past four presidencies, with the women capturing nine national titles and the men adding four.
But defending a national championship has proved easier said than done. Although the Connecticut women have gone back-to-back three times in the past 12 years (including an elusive three-peat from 2002-04), no champion has repeated in the men's game since Florida in 2006-07.
President Barack Obama welcomed the NCAA Champion UConn Huskies Men's and Women's Basketball teams to the White House to honor their 2014 NCAA Championships. (June 9) AP
Despite that rarity, Obama left the East Room anticipating Connecticut's next White House visit.
"This really isn't goodbye, probably, because I suspect I'll see some of these folks again before I leave office," said Obama, who perhaps has learned his lesson about picking against the Huskies.
ALSO: After their perfect season, the UConn women lost two WNBA first-round picks in versatile center Dolson and guard Bria Hartley, who play their home games down the street for the Washington Mystics. Connecticut will return sharpshooter Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and leading scorer Breanna Stewart in going for a third consecutive national title.
On the men's side, Connecticut will lose two of their key pieces from this year's national championship run in point guard Shabazz Napier and forward DeAndre Daniels. Both could be first-round picks in this month's NBA draft. The Huskies should get a boost, however, with the debut of guard Rodney Purvis -- a former McDonald's All-American who sat out last season after transferring from North Carolina State.