A guide to Muffet McGraw’s Twitter block of Breanna Stewart

COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 01: Head coach Muffet McGraw of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish looks on against the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs during the first quarter in the championship game of the 2018 NCAA Women's Final Four at Nationwide Arena on April 1, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 01: Head coach Muffet McGraw of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish looks on against the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs during the first quarter in the championship game of the 2018 NCAA Women's Final Four at Nationwide Arena on April 1, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Listen, if we’re going to live in a world where an NBA player can tweet a single emoji and send Twitter into hysterics, we have to accept that the UConn vs. Notre Dame rivalry has just reached new heights.

Over the weekend, the Huskies won a heated game in South Bend and it all boiled over on Wednesday when Irish coach Muffet McGraw apparently blocked UConn great Breanna Stewart on Twitter.

[Cue 500 PETTY WARZ tweets from the NBA Twittersphere while you try to keep your eyes from rolling so far back you could see your brain.]

While everyone else is Getting Off Those Tweets, let’s step back and examine how this all happened, because that is so much more important. In fact, it shows that this is EXACTLY what women’s college basketball needs right now.

July 2014

Geno Auriemma subtweets then-high schooler Arike Ogunbowale, who did not include UConn in her top-five schools.

Yeah, not Geno’s finest moment by any stretch, and it’s probably a good thing that he is no longer active on Twitter. He might be the greatest coach in the history of the game (I said MIGHT BE, calm down, Wooden fans), but knowing when to shut up has never been his strength. And giving him free reign on Twitter during what was  a different era on the platform was a recipe for disaster.

It was a stupid thing to tweet and Ogunbowale got her revenge four years later…

March 2018

You’ve probably seen the video a thousand times by now and it’s always worth a re-watch. It may have only happened a few months ago, but it is now a seminal moment in the history of the sport — especially considering she did it again a couple days later in the national championship game. Any Final Four buzzer-beater is going to have it’s place in history. This one, however, from a former Big East rival and against the mighty UConn Huskies was just a little bit bigger.

With the game as competitive as it has ever been and the TV ratings still not catching up, Ogunbuwale’s heroics could not have come at a better time. In fact, it gave the regular season rematch between the two schools a little extra buzz heading into last Sunday. The game was in South Bend and the Irish, not the Huskies, were No. 1 in the land. Could they hand UConn its first regular season loss in over 100 games?


In a word, no.

The game was competitive through three quarters before the Huskies pulled away in the fourth. The headline, however, isn’t that UConn pulled away. It’s that Notre Dame seemingly folded under pressure. When UConn went on a run, the Irish didn’t punch back, they took the pressure off. They got frustrated, and perhaps there was no better example than when Ogunbuwale got T’d up for allegedly telling Auriemma to “shut the you-know-what up.”

Auriemma had allegedly been jawing at Ogunbuwale, which, if true, was wrong of him. But keep the context in mind. From his view (I gather), Ogunbuwale’s actions on the court to that point were not acceptable. There was this play, where she appeared to grab Crystal Dangerfield’s neck on the way up the court:

Then this, where she took out Dangerfield’s legs:

That was the setup to whatever Auriemma said that caused Ogunbowale’s outburst.

And it could have just been left at that. It still would have been a huge deal — swearing at an opposing coach has to be one of the biggest no-nos in the sport, even if that’s never been written down anywhere because, you know, it just doesn’t happen.

Then, something (we still don’t know what) happened between her and Auriemma in the postgame handshake line:

Another angle showed the two did actually shake hands, contrary to initial reports, so we can assume something else was said. For her part, Ogunbowale apologized for letting her emotions get the best of her in the game:

Monday and Tuesday

Take whatever side you want in this. Call Ogunbowale dirty, call Geno classless, whatever. It got people talking about women’s college basketball and it got two big fanbases fighting with each other — both good things. Notre Dame fans spent Monday and Tuesday demanding an apology from Auriemma while applauding Ogunbowale and Muffet McGraw for issuing apologies of their own. UConn fans got to keep sharing the GIFs of Ogunbowale’s antics. This stayed very much A Thing online well after the game ended. Then, it was supposed to fade as the two teams went their separate ways until (hopefully) March.

That didn’t happen.


While you were settling into work today, maybe sipping that morning coffee (Dunkin’ for UConn fans), you may have checked Twitter to see what was going on in the world. You probably scrolled past a few stories on the late President Bush, maybe chuckled at a Dril tweet, ignored a brand that was trying too hard, then, because you’re a smart person and follow Breanna Stewart, your scrolling finger stopped cold when you saw the screenshot that she tweeted.

On top of all of this, Muffet McGraw, who not 24 hours ago apologized for her team showing a lack of poise, blocked perhaps the greatest player in UConn history, unprompted. A quick Twitter search shows Stewart has never mentioned McGraw in a tweet. We don’t know when the block happened, so maybe it was a long time ago and Stewart just noticed this now?

Who knows?

Either way, THIS IS SO GOOD. We need something to keep people talking while UConn blasts the AAC into oblivion and Notre Dame plays some guarantee games to end December. We need Geno to say something stupid right as this all seems to quiet down again (you know it’ll happen). We need a few months of worthless build-up so that when they eventually play in the Final Four, EVERYBODY tunes in.

Get the clap emojis ready because we are HERE 👏 FOR 👏 IT 👏.

We are also here for UConn alumnae weighing in on the dumbest and greatest controversy ever:

Inject all of this into my veins and may it never stop.