For the first time in either men's and women's NCAA basketball history, two undefeated teams will meet to decide the women's national championship. The University of Connecticut and Notre Dame University take to the court at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., Tuesday night.
The NCAA women's championship game will be televised on ESPN, beginning at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time.
One night after the Connecticut men's team captured their fourth NCAA national championship, head coach Geno Auriemma and the Lady Huskies will try to complete the greatest season in school history by winning 40 straight games. Ten years ago, both the UConn men's and women's teams won national titles. This is Connecticut's 15th women's Final Four appearance. Including last season, they have eight national titles.
UConn is led by Naismith Trophy winner Breanna Stewart, who averages over 19 points and eight rebounds a game. Just like the UConn men, the women take pride in playing defense. Stefanie Dolson is another integral part of Connecticut's success. Dolson, named this week as the women's Division 1 defensive player of the year, is the Lady Huskies' leading rebounder, at nine per game, and is one of four other starters who average double-figure scoring.
Notre Dame, under women's National Coach of the Year Muffet McGraw, has reached the women's Final Four for the fourth consecutive year and sixth overall. The Fighting Irish won the 2001 national championship and were national runner-up in 2011 and 2012. Naismith Trophy finalist and All-American Kayla McBride leads the Notre Dame women, averaging 17 points and four assists per game. The Fighting Irish lost senior forward and leading rebounder Natalie Achonwa to a knee injury earlier this month, but players like Jewell Loyd and Taya Reimer have stepped up their play in her absence.
UConn and Notre Dame are quite familiar with one another, competing in the Big East Conference from 1995 through last season. While both schools moved to new conferences this year, they haven't forgotten how the other plays. The old saying goes that "familiarity breeds contempt" won't be in play Tuesday night, but a chance to make basketball history will.