For the UConn men’s basketball team, a trip to the NCAA title game was a major shock. For the women, it was all part of the plan.
The undefeated and top-seeded Huskies crushed No. 2 seed Stanford 75-56 in the Final Four on Sunday, setting up a battle with a fellow unbeaten, 37-0 Notre Dame, in Tuesday night’s national championship game.
It’ll be the first women’s title game to pit two undefeated squads against each other.
“It wouldn’t be any fun if you didn’t beat teams that were any good,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said, via The Associated Press. “I think women’s basketball needs rivalries like this, teams that aspire to be great and want to win championships.”
This also marks the second straight season that a school has sent teams to the final in both the men’s and women’s tournaments. Louisville did so in 2013, with the men taking home the title and the women losing to UConn.
Huskies forward Breanna Stewart, the MVP of last year’s tournament, finished with a game-high 18 points Tuesday night to go along with seven rebounds. Stanford’s Amber Orrange paced the Cardinal with 16 points in the losing effort, and Chiney Ogwumike added 15 points and 10 boards to finish with the game’s only double-double.
Shabazz Napier and the No. 7 seed UConn men will take on No. 8 seed Kentucky for the national title Monday night in Arlington, Texas. The teams have combined to win two of the last three championships.