What could have been if not for UConn?

UConn has eliminated USF in the last three AAC tournament finals. ORACLE FILE PHOTO/JACKIE BENITEZ

No team gets to select its conference foes. For the most part it’s the luck of the draw, and from there, you’re stuck with what you have.

For USF women’s basketball, they have virtually the worst draw of any team in the country.

As a team that’s been yearning to be considered among college basketball’s upper tier, there has been one immovable roadblock standing firmly in its way year in and year out.

Two times a year, three counting what has turned into an annual meeting in the conference tournament, USF plays the most dominant team college sports has ever seen: UConn.

Riding a 107-game win streak — longest in NCAA history — the Huskies have thrown aside virtually any and all competition in its path, including the Bulls.

But what if UConn was in any other conference but the AAC?

A moot point in reality, but USF’s recent success could have a much different tone and outcome if the Huskies weren’t on the schedule three times a year.

USF has made it to three straight AAC championship games. Each run ended in a beat down by a program that has won seven of the last nine national championships and 197 of its last 198 games.

When the Bulls made their latest attempt at dethroning the champs Monday, they were met with stiff opposition, trailing by 60 at one point.

They ended up losing 100-44 thanks to a 40-point performance by UConn forward Katie Lou Samuelson, who went 10-for-10 from 3-point range.

But USF has suffered the same fate as every other team that has tried.

Only difference is that these other teams still have a shot at a conference title.

Five times USF has been eliminated by the Huskies in the conference tournament. Each of those times, UConn dominantly went on to win the conference championship and four of those years they won the title.

In most situations, saying that playing a team multiple times a year “isn’t fair” is just an excuse.

With UConn, it’s not.

It is a new level of dominant that no team in women’s college basketball can hang with.

No one will ever know how many conference titles USF could have under its belt without UConn in its path, but it’s worth asking the question: What could have been?