Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

End of an era?

In all the years I've been covering the UConn women's basketball team, I've always hoped that a team would rise up to challenge the Huskies' dominance particularly in the Big East.

There were pockets of time when that did occur. Notre Dame beat the Huskies twice in 2001 including an impressive come from behind win in the Final Four and from 2005-08 Rutgers won five of eight games versus UConn. But in the next few years, seeing a conference team play single-digit game against UConn felt like a winning proposition. Then came the long-awaited emergence of the rivalry with Notre Dame. Beginning in the 2011 Final Four Notre Dame has won seven of the last eight games.

The three games this season have been something to behold with Notre Dame winning by a point at Gampel Pavilion on Jan. 5 and then came the triple-overtime classic in South Bend on Mar. 4 and the bizarre final minute in the Big East tournament finale.

"The Connecticut/Notre Dame matchup over the last number of years I think has been one of the most special matchups in our game from a national perspective,' Big East Associate Commissioner Danielle Donehew said. "The quality of play, the quality of coaching and the talent of the student-athletes when they are on the floor is really second to none. It is exciting for our nation and our Big East family to have two teams in the same league who see each other often and have to play twice in the regular season, they've had to play in the Big East championship and they have had to play on the national stage in the Final Four. It is a remarkable matchup, a remarkable opportunity for those teams who have to play each other over and over. This is a matchup that over the last couple of years has been really special."

There is no questioning what Donehew said but there is a surreal feeling about tonight's game because there will be no regular-season showdowns next season with Notre Dame heading to the ACC and UConn a charter member of the American Athletic Conference.

"Everything about Notre Dame/UConn is fun. I love watching Dolson/Achonwa go at it, I love this matchup because it is great drama, it is always good," said former UConn star and current ESPN broadcaster Rebecca Lobo..

"I hope that they continue to play because it is the best game that we get every year. It has become the best (rivalry."


Blogger Jim Dodd said...

UConn found some great games during the University of Miami's Frances Savage years (1987-92). Miami lost some luster after Savage graduated, but it was still fun to watch the match up.

8:17 PM 

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