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Saturday, March 31, 2012
Summitt makes Final Four appearance


DENVER -- Amid all of the hoopla that is NCAA Final Four weekend -- the bands, the practices, Tourney Town, hoops fans wearing newly made Peyton Manning Broncos jerseys -- there will be one moment that will be long remembered for years to come.

And it was a moment that came even before the first tip-off.

Geno Auriemma/Pat Summitt
Geno Auriemma and Pat Summitt shared a brief moment during UConn's practice Saturday at the Women's Final Four.

A woman wearing a bright chartreuse jacket made her way out onto the Pepsi Center floor. Not too long after she arrived, Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma made his way to the woman, and the crowd noticed.

It was Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, who was here to show support for forward Glory Johnson during Saturday's State Farm All-America Team ceremony. Auriemma and Summitt, two college basketball coaching legends simply sharing a moment for the whole arena to see. Before long, fans moved in, asking Summitt for autographs; other admirers yelled from afar.

"We love you, Pat!"

"Come back next year, Coach!"

And that's what made the scene that much more powerful: the unknown. Will Summitt return for 2012-13 after revealing before the start of this season that she was diagnosed with early onset dementia?

Many will speculate her future for weeks to come. On Saturday, at least, the women's college basketball world simply appreciated Summitt was where she belonged.