Iowa slips past UConn: A foul ending to a beautiful celebration of the power of women's basketball

CLEVELAND – UConn coach Geno Auriemma knew the question was coming, and he took a long pause. A really long pause.

"I mean, just probably an illegal screen call that you could make on every single possession," Auriemma said.

"I just know there were three or four of them called on us and none called on them. I just think we have to get better at not setting illegal screens."

No. 3 UConn trailed 70-69 and had a chance for the go-ahead basket with 3.9 seconds remaining against No. 1 Iowa, and that is where the women's Final Four took a turn.

A game that should be celebrated ended in controversy, one that took away from an instant classic.

Maybe the officials should have swallowed the whistle on Aaliyah Edwards, who stepped a little high on the ball screen.

Maybe Paige Bueckers' catches the pass from Nika Muhl and buries a dramatic game-winner in an instant classic at the women's Final Four at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Friday, and Iowa fans are the ones crying foul instead.

"We put ourselves in position to win a game that we had probably had no business being in given the circumstances we were working with," Auriemma said. "Iowa won the game, and they get to go on, and we get to go home."

Edwards said that one play didn't lose the game, but that will be the lead topic of discussion in the aftermath. Did the officiating cost No. 3 UConn (33-6) a chance at a national championship shot at No. 1 South Carolina (37-7) on Sunday? What did Edwards think of the call?

Instead, No. 1 Iowa (34-4) will advance after a 71-69 victory against the Huskies. Edwards and Bueckers had 17 points apiece in the loss.