Fans at the XL Center in Hartford were given a treat tonight, as #4-ranked UConn defeated #3 Notre Dame 63-54 in the hard-fought forty-minute match-up between two national championship quality squads. The win not only gave the Huskies their fifth consecutive Big East Championship, but also rewarded head coach Geno Auriemma with his 800th career win. Geno is just the sixth Division one coach to reach the milestone, and is the fastest to do so going 771-124 over 26 years at the helm.
Two mid-major leagues crowned new tournament champions Tuesday, as South Dakota State took the Summit League's tournament title and Arkansas-Little Rock laid claim to the Sun Belt conference Tournament crown. Three more mid-major conferences will launch their women's basketball championship tournaments Wednesday, bringing the total number of non-BCS conferences whose tournaments have gotten underway to 20.
On Monday, four new mid-major conference tournament champions were crowned, while on Tuesday, three more mid-major conferences join the 14 others who have already gotten their conference women's basketball championship tournaments underway. Let's look first at the newcomers, then turn to the highlights of Monday's championship games.
Turns out that in Big East Women’s basketball revenge is a dish best served on the occasion of the conference tournament semifinals, as West Virginia (No. 5) and St. John’s (No. 2) discovered tonight at the XL Center.
West Virginia lost to top-seeded Notre Dame in a 73-45 routing. St. John’s fell to third-seeded Connecticut 74-43.
The two games shared similar backgrounds, followed similar cadences. Even the final scores were eerily similar.