The Tennessee Lady Volunteers and the Connecticut Huskies are two of the most successful women’s college basketball programs in the country. Between the two programs, they have 19 national championships and countless All-Americans.
Unfortunately, the last time the two teams played each other was back in January in 2007. That’s no longer an issue, as the rivalry has been renewed for the 2019-2020 season.
Tennessee and Connecticut will play each other for two years with the game in the 2019-2020 season being played in Storrs while the following year will be played in Knoxville. Proceeds from the game will benefit the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and the Pat Summitt Foundation.
The first game will be held on January 23, 2020 during “We Back Pat” Week. Both games will be televised on the ESPN networks.
Starting with coach Holly Warlick, head coach of the Tennessee Lady Volunteers, she noted:
“We are so excited to join UConn for games that will generate incredible interest for women’s basketball and benefit the Pat Summitt Foundation, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Basketball fans will be intrigued to watch these two programs meet on the court again. And I know the Lady Vols and Huskies fans will be eager to pack arenas, cheer on their teams and make a difference for some very worthy causes, including one bearing the name of my coach, mentor and friend.”
Head Coach Geno Auriemma of UConn stated:
“I am happy to have the Lady Vols back on our schedule and am thrilled that proceeds to our games will benefit such an important endeavor like the Pat Summitt Foundation. I know our fans will be excited to renew the rivalry with Tennessee and expect them to fill the building for some good basketball and a great cause.”
The first meeting of the two programs was back in January 1995 when the Connecticut Huskies won 77-66. The two programs have played each other 22 times with UConn leading the series 13-9. Four of the meetings were for the National Championship. Connecticut won all four of those meetings.
There have been a number of different players who have played in during this rivalry: Maya Moore, Rebecca Lobo, Chamique Holdsclaw, Tamika Catchings, Candace Parker, Diana Taurasi. The two main consistents during the rivalry were head coaches Auriemma and Pat Summitt.
Geno Auriemma is still at UConn. Unfortunately, Coach Summitt died in 2016 due to Alzheimer’s disease.
These two successful programs are going to get the rivalry back up in running in a few years after ending it back in 2007. The programs will be ready and this will be exciting for women’s basketball.
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