Tenn-UConn rivalry renewed on the big stage?
The national championship game in women’s basketball will be held April 5. The most anticipated game could take place two nights earlier.
Since UConn and Tennessee ended the most famous rivalry in women’s basketball history four years ago, the only hope for a reunion has been in the NCAA tournament. The announcement of the 2011 bracket last night raises those hopes anew.
UConn and Tennessee were named two of the four No. 1 seeds, joining Stanford, the only team to beat UConn since 2008, and Baylor, which narrowly lost to UConn last November.
But all eyes were focused on the bracket placement of the former bitter rivals who controversially have not met since 2007. Should UConn, the top seed in the Philadelphia region, and Tennessee, the No. 1 seed in the Dayton region, reach the Final Four, they would meet in the national semifinals April 3 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
UConn (32-1) and Tennessee (31-2) last played each other during the 2006-07 regular season. In June of that year, Tennessee coach Pat Summitt announced the Lady Vols were discontinuing the series with UConn — consistently the most-watched game of the women’s basketball season — after 13 years.
The Huskies won the title the past two seasons, and Tennessee failed to reach the Final Four.