HARTFORD, Conn. -- November 23, 2015. It was 30 years ago today . . .
That Geno Auriemma won his first UConn game (also his first as a head coach). Winning that game and the next six games, that 1985 team began to believe that basketball belonged in Storrs, Conn. Five years later, Connecticut was in the Final Four. Five years after that, the team began the first perfect season leading to the first national championship. Over the next 20 years, UConn has won half the championships available.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- For 12-and-a-half minutes Sunday evening, hope rose in the hearts of those outside the Storrs, Conn. orbit of influence. For 12-and-a-half minutes, it looked like someone might actually give the Huskies a game.
The match-ups for the 2014 Final Four are now set and while there may be clear favorites, there are no true underdogs in this pack. UConn is entering its seventh consecutive Final Four, having won three of the last six. Stanford is in its sixth out of seven. Notre Dame is in its fourth in a row. Maryland hasn’t been here since its surprising National Championship in 2006. UConn has eight National Championships, Stanford two, Notre Dame and Maryland one each.
LINCOLN, Neb. -- The Lincoln Regional is finally down to two teams, with the Elite Eight getting underway on Monday, March 31, 2014, at 9:30 p.m. EDT (8:30 p.m. CDT) at Pinnacle Bank Arena, in Lincoln, Neb. The regional final will feature top-seeded and undefeated Connecticut, who survived a bit of a scare in its Sweet 16 meeting with 12th-seeded BYU on Saturday, trailing the Cougars for much of the first half in the face of an unexpectedly tough BYU defense, before finding another gear and sweeping to a 70-51 win.
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Hosting Nebraska wouldn't be playing this weekend, having fallen victim to a second-round upset at the hands of twelfth-seeded BYU. But Nebraska fans nevertheless heeded Connie Yori's message, packing Pinnacle Bank Arena, even if their home team could participate only as spectators. Over 9,600 fans witnessed the regional semifinal games, where two Cinderella teams saw their proverbial clocks strike midnight.
Sweet 16: Saturday, March 29, 2014(Pinnacle Bank Arena, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska)
There are a number of direct and obscure connections between the two teams that squared off Tuesday night in Storrs for the second round of 2014 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament. At one end of the floor waited the proverbial Goliath, undefeated Connecticut, the No. 1 of all of this year's No. 1 seeds; at the other, playing the role of David, was ninth-seeded Saint Joseph's. What could these two teams possibly have in common?
The Lincoln Regional gets underway today, with the host Nebraksa in Los Angeles having to get through two games on the West Coast in hopes of still participating when they get back to Pinnacle Bank Arena. The Huskers certainly have the talent to do so, but some other top-notch teams will have a lot to say about it.
On Friday night, the Women's National Invitational Tournament completed its first round. After three days of play, the field has now been whittled down to 32 teams. Michigan and Saint Bonaventure flourished in the second halves of their wins, while Washington, South Florida, and Duquesne won with defense and elbow grease. One of the better games of the evening featured an individual duel in the Arkansas State-UTEP game. Now, it’s on to the second round, which begins this weekend and continues into Monday.
UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- News flash: On Monday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., the University of Connecticut -- reigning national champions; 34-0 overall and18-0 in conference play; and consensus No. 1 team in the nation all season -- captured the first American Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Tournament championship in the league's inaugural season.
Now that we've removed the suspense concerning that pressing question, we can move on to examine what we've learned from the exercise.
NORTH HAVEN, CONN. -- Moriah Jefferson speeds down court. The many quick steps per dribble gives a jitterbug impression as she approaches the top of the key. She is obviously the fastest player on the court. But when she sees a tiny seam between defenders, one quickly realizes how little of the 5-7 point guard's true quickness they were aware of. Jefferson kicks in another gear, slicing through much taller defenders who seem to be moving in slow motion and rocketing to the hoop to drop in the lay-up.