Also, it was the game that kind of drove old Dixie down a bit, or at least raised the north up, as UConn brought a whole new region into the picture. In the prior 13 NCs, the huge majority of teams were from the south, with CA teams USC and Stanford getting five visits, and Ohio State and maybe Western KY runner-ups being the most northern teams except for little Cheyney State in the first NC. Southern teams were very often squaring off in the finals, and the interest in that arrangement only goes so far in WCBB as opposed to football. I do remember back in 1983 and on to 1986 there was a lot of interest in the broadcast when the photogenic Cheryl Miller and the Lady Trojans were involved. After the 1995 contest, it was back to southern teams squaring off in the NC for the next three years, but UConn was always lurking as it built for its years of dominance.
UConn's appearance pulled the game out of the south and set up a rivalry between a southern and northern team, which was a natural promotional and also got played out when Duke played Purdue inn 1999. It's good to have a variety of interest points for the top contests, and regional rivalries are one of the great factors that kick into the matchups.