CPTV soon expanded to a full schedule, and ratings have been so strong the station paid $1 million to renew its rights. A recent Huskies game fell just a few rating points shy of NBC's Vancouver Olympics coverage in Connecticut that day.
"That's an incredible amount of exposure," Packer said. "It's like no other university that I know of."
Auriemma has taken full advantage.
Brash and talkative, he is the kind of coach who continues joking with reporters even after team officials whisper in his ear that practice has begun without him.
He takes particular glee in needling his rival, Summitt, keeping their feud alive by referring to her age and calling her program "The Evil Empire."
His players know they are expected to help him promote the sport and the team, always cordial, making time for reporters and fans.
"We're a small community, so we get to know people," said Betsy Paterson, the mayor of Mansfield, a town that encompasses the village of Storrs. "The players are such a clean-cut group of women."
But there's a twist: UConn students -- like those on most campuses -- still favor the men's program.
When the women defeated Temple last week, a campus hangout called Huskies -- which bills itself as "Home of the UConn Huskies" -- closed early. A nearby bar had its televisions tuned to other sports.
Asked about the women's game, a bartender replied: "Are they playing right now?"
Earlier this season, during a walk-through, one of the UConn players cut through the lane holding up the wrong hand to call for a pass. The coaches went ballistic.
"You'd have thought she violated a cardinal rule," recalled Doris Burke, a former college player who now works as an ESPN commentator. "If you want to know why Connecticut is so good, that's why."
Are the Huskies good enough to be considered America's most dominant team? "They're making a case for consideration," Burke said.
But their success raises another question: Are all those blowout victories hurting a women's game that must fight for respect and attention?
Even Packer, who admires their style, concedes: "To be quite honest with you, because so many of the teams they play have no opportunity to be competitive, I don't watch many of their games."
Auriemma offers a different perspective. He talks about Microsoft's dominance of the computer software market.
"Eventually, other people have to catch up," he says. "You either compete or get out, so everyone will compete."
The UConn coaches and players like to think their program has excelled because, to them, it's about more than winning. They're chasing perfection.
"We love the game, we value the game," Moore said. "We show that every day in how hard we work."
And she thinks people appreciate their effort.
The sort of people who watch basketball on public television. The sort of people who would pull their cars to the side of the road and cheer for a passing bus.