Sports

Championship game coaches, UConn's Auriemma and Louisville's Walz, share respect with humor

  • Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma directs his team in the first half against Notre Dame at a women's NCAA Final Four college basketball tournament semifinal, Sunday, April 7, 2013, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

    Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma directs his team in the first half against Notre Dame at a women's NCAA Final Four college basketball tournament semifinal, Sunday, April 7, 2013, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)  (The Associated Press)

  • Louisville head coach Jeff Walz directs his team in the first half of a national semifinal at the Women's Final Four of the NCAA college basketball tournament against California, Sunday, April 7, 2013, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

    Louisville head coach Jeff Walz directs his team in the first half of a national semifinal at the Women's Final Four of the NCAA college basketball tournament against California, Sunday, April 7, 2013, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)  (The Associated Press)

  • Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma waves to fans after the women's NCAA Final Four college basketball tournament semifinal against Notre Dame, Sunday, April 7, 2013, in New Orleans. UConn won 83-65. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

    Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma waves to fans after the women's NCAA Final Four college basketball tournament semifinal against Notre Dame, Sunday, April 7, 2013, in New Orleans. UConn won 83-65. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)  (The Associated Press)

Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma says he sees a lot of himself in Louisville's Jeff Walz.

That could explain why the 59-year-old Auriemma has kept poking fun at the 41-year-old Walz as if he was his little brother in the lead-up to the pair's meeting in Tuesday night's women's national title game.

Auriemma has taken UConn to 14 Final Fours and went into Tuesday night's game seeking his eighth NCAA championship. Walz has a long way to go to match that. But even as Auriemma pokes fun at Walz's casual game-day attire, he says he has a hard time thinking of a coach who's done a better job in his first seven years with a program.

Walz has taken Louisville to two national title games.