April 7, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team will look to become the fifth Connecticut team to conclude its season with a perfect record and a national championship on Tuesday night in Nashville. The Huskies (39-0) will have to go through former Big East rival and fellow undefeated No. 1 seed Notre Dame (37-0) to achieve the feat. This will be the first time in NCAA Tournament history a pair of unbeaten teams will square off for the championship trophy.
Tip time for the national championship showdown is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN with Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke and Holly Rowe on the call. Fans can also listen to the game on the UConn IMG Radio Network with hosts Bob Joyce and Debbie Fiske. The Huskies are in pursuit of a record ninth national championship, which would break the tie with Tennessee for the most NCAA Women’s College Basketball. The Irish seek a second national championship on Tuesday night.
The Series with Notre Dame
With Notre Dame’s move to the ACC and UConn’s switch to the American Athletic Conference, Tuesday will be the first time both teams have met since the 2013 Final Four, in which Connecticut dealt the Irish their second loss of the season in convincing fashion, 83-65, en route to winning the 2013 National Championship. UConn snapped Notre Dame’s school record 30-game winning streak in the process.
The victory avenged three previous losses to the Irish during the regular season and in the 2013 Big East title game, as well as streak of three previous NCAA Tournament losses to Notre Dame. Since the teams first played in 1995-96, the Huskies are 30-11 all-time against the Irish.
UConn in the NCAA Tournament
The win over Stanford in the NCAA Semifinals improved Connecticut to 96-17 all-time in NCAA Tournament play. The calculated winning percentage of (.850) represents the highest winning percentage all-time. When playing in the national title game, the Huskies are a perfect 8-0. The Huskies have entered the big dance with an unblemished record on six previous occasions, winning the national championship in four of the six years.
Since 2000 Connecticut has been exceptionally dominant in the NCAA Tournament, accumulating a record of 71-7 with 12 Final Four appearances and seven National Championships.
The Starting Five
UConn boasts a starting lineup all averaging double-figure scoring. AP and USBWA National Player of the Year Breanna Stewart (Syracuse, N.Y.) leads the charge with 19.4 points per game, followed by senior and fellow WBCA All-American Bria Hartley (North Baqbylon, N.Y.) with 16.3 points per game. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) has come on strong in the postseason, averaging 16.8 points over UConn’s five tournament game. WBCA All-American Stefanie Dolson (Port Jervis, N.Y.) nets an average 12.3 points per game and sophomore point guard Moriah Jefferson (Glenn Heights, Texas) nets 10.2 per game.