What’s a little pre-game pat on the rump between friends?

First of all, don’t believe everything you see.

The Associated Press circulated a photo of Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma allegedly tapping Baylor head women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey on the backside before the No. 3 Huskies showdown with the No. 1 Bears – a game Baylor won 76-70 Monday night at the XL Center. And while Auriemma admitted to tapping Mulkey’s rump, he claims she started it by staring at his backside.

“She was staring at my butt and she was commenting on it and I said, ‘Really? How about yours?’ and she went, ‘Yeah, look at it,’ and I went (slap), I’ll teach you a lesson,” Auriemma said, jokingly. ‘And then she started talking about how she only dated Italians her whole life and that she wanted me to set her up with some Italians and I said ‘The Italians I send to see you aren’t going to date you.’ We’ve had a long and great relationship since, gosh, she was an assistant at Louisiana Tech. It goes back a long ways.”
“She’s just a big pain in the butt. That’s all there is to it.”

Mulkey was – thankfully — not available for comment.