Twenty years ago, Connecticut and Gonzaga could hardly have been called "major players" on the national stage. UConn's glory days were regional, and many of them were spent in the Yankee Conference. Most of the American sporting public had no earthly idea where Gonzaga was located.
Today, Connecticut versus Gonzaga is a heavyweight bout, and appointment viewing for every college basketball fan around the country. Twenty years ago, it would have been unimaginable to suggest UConn-Gonzaga could be a national-title preview. The response to that statement now is a simple, "well, duh?!"