espnW: Connecticut

Titles time, anyone?

March, 28, 2014
Mar 28
Rick Pitino, Jeff WalzAndy Lyons/Getty ImagesLouisville basketball coaches Rick Pitino and Jeff Walz both led their teams to the national championship game in 2013.

We're down to 12 teams in the men's bracket and 16 teams in the women's bracket, and four schools -- Connecticut, Tennessee, Kentucky and Louisville -- still have both their men's and women's teams alive and well amid the March Madness. There have been only 10 times in the history of the NCAA tournaments that both men's and women's programs from the same school have advanced all the way to the Final Four in the same year. Here we look back at those schools and how they fared:

Louisville, 2013: Both Cardinals teams made it all the way to the championship game. The men won the national championship with an 82-76 win over Michigan, but the women lost to Connecticut 93-60.

Connecticut, 2011: The men won their third national title in program history by holding off Butler 53-41 in the final, but the women were ousted in the semifinals by then-Big East rival and national runner-up Notre Dame 72-63.

Connecticut, 2009: The women won their sixth national title with a 76-54 rout over Louisville in the final. The men, however, fell to Michigan State 82-73 in the semifinals.

LSU, 2006: Neither team advanced to the final. The men fell to runner-up UCLA 59-45 and the women were ousted by runner-up Duke 64-45.

Michigan State, 2005: The women made it to the final but fell short, losing to Baylor 84-62. The men lost in the semifinals to eventual champion North Carolina, 87-71.

Connecticut, 2004: Connecticut became the only school to celebrate men's and women's basketball national championships in the same year. Led by Most Outstanding Player Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon, the men beat Georgia Tech 82-73 in the final. Led by Diana Taurasi, the women topped rival Tennessee 70-61 to claim their third consecutive national championship.

Texas, 2003: Neither Longhorns squad advanced to the final and both lost to the eventual national champion. The men fell to Syracuse and Carmelo Anthony 94-84 in the semis, and the women were edged by Connecticut 71-69.

Oklahoma, 2002: The women advanced to the national championship game, but fell to UConn 82-70. The men were ousted in the semifinals by national runner-up Indiana, 73-64.

Duke, 1999: Both teams came up one win short of a national title. The men fell to Connecticut 77-74 in the national championship game, and the women lost to Purdue, 62-45, in the final.

Georgia, 1983: Both programs' runs came to an end in the national semifinals. The men lost 67-60 to Jim Valvano's NC State, the eventual national champions. The women fell to eventual champion USC and Cheryl Miller, 87-51.

11 and counting at UConn

November, 25, 2013
Uconn/LouisvilleDerick E. Hingle/USA TODAY SportsWith eight titles apiece, Connecticut and Tennessee are tied for the most women's basketball titles in history.

It’s up to 11 and counting for women’s sports teams at the University of Connecticut. The field hockey team won its third NCAA championship on Sunday with a 2-0 victory over Duke, giving the women’s teams at UConn a total of 11 national championships. The UConn women’s basketball team, the reigning national champions, has won eight national titles. In all, the school has won 16 NCAA championships. The men’s soccer team has won two NCAA titles and the men’s basketball team has won three. The all-time leader is UCLA, which has won 109 NCAA titles. Stanford, with 43, has won the most NCAA women’s titles.

Numbers add up to tall order for Cards

April, 9, 2013
Antonita Slaughter
Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY SportsAntonita Slaughter has helped spark Louisvilles run by making 17 3-pointers so far in the tournament. The all-time record is 20.
They’ve been overcoming long odds all tournament long, and the numbers don’t look so good once again for fifth-seeded Louisville heading into Tuesday night’s national championship game against Connecticut. The Cardinals are 1-12 all-time against the Huskies, including 12 losses in a row. Their last meeting, in January, resulted in a 72-58 loss. Furthermore, Connecticut is 7-0 all-time in championship games, and no team seeded fourth or lower has ever won the women’s title.

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Connecticut inching closer to Tennessee

April, 6, 2013
Gennifer Brandon
Ed Szczepanski/USA TODAY SportsIn addition to making their first Final Four appearance, Gennifer Brandon and Cal won a school-record 32 games this season.
Connecticut is making a record sixth straight Final Four appearance, but it has a ways to go to catch Tennessee for the most all-time. The Lady Vols have made 18 Final Four appearances, followed by UConn with 14, Stanford with 11 and Louisiana Tech with 10. California, on the other hand, is playing in the first Final Four in program history.

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No. 1 seeds not half bad in New Orleans

April, 4, 2013
Notre Dame
David Butler II/USA TODAY SportsWith Connecticut and Notre Dame colliding in the semifinals, the national championship game is guaranteed to feature one top seed.
Notre Dame and Connecticut are carrying the torch for the No. 1 seeds this year at the Final Four in New Orleans. Since the start of the women’s NCAA tournament, at least one No. 1 seed has made the Final Four every year. But only twice have all four of the top seeds made it. The first time was in 1989 with Auburn, Louisiana Tech, Maryland and Tennessee. The most recent was last year with Baylor, Connecticut, Notre Dame and Stanford. The Sweet 16 was the stumbling site for half of the top seeds this year. Baylor was tripped up by Louisville, and Stanford was knocked out by Georgia.

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Something old, something new

April, 2, 2013
Cal Women's Basketball
AP Photo/Elaine ThompsonSenior Layshia Clarendon scored 25 points for Cal in its Elite Eight win.
With its 65-62 overtime win over Georgia on Monday, Cal clinched its first trip to the Final Four in program history. The Bears also became the first Pac-12 team not named Stanford to reach the national semifinals since Cheryl Miller and Southern California did it back in 1986. On the flip side, Connecticut, which advanced to New Orleans with an 83-53 win over Kentucky, will be making a record sixth straight and 14th overall appearance in the Final Four.

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Happy Birthday, Geno!

March, 23, 2013
AP Photo/Jessica HillGeno Auriemma was born in Montella, Italy, 59 years ago today.

The first coach in women's basketball history to lead a team to five consecutive Final Fours on two separate occasions, Geno Auriemma turns 59 today. The seven-time coach of the year was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006 and coached the U.S. Olympic Team to gold this past summer in London. This year marks the 24th time the Huskies have made an NCAA tournament appearance, and if they advance to the Final Four, Auriemma will extend his record to six appearances in a row. The Huskies start their quest today against Idaho.

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Women own some sizzling streaks

March, 21, 2013
AP Photo/Charles KrupaCandace Parker and Diana Taurasi helped push Team USA's winning streak to 41 games and counting.
There has been a whole lot of buzz recently around the Miami Heat, who extended their NBA winning streak to 24 games on Wednesday night. But they still have a long way to go to catch the women who set these streaks. This past summer in London, the United States women’s basketball team extended its winning streak to 41 games when it won its fifth gold medal. In 1984, Martina Navratilova owned a 74-match winning streak on the WTA Tour. But perhaps most impressive, the Connecticut women’s basketball team won 90 straight games between 2008 and 2010.

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