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Beginning of an Era

April, 2, 2014
Apr 2
UConn BasketballBob Stowell/Getty ImagesThe 1995 UConn team attracted an estimated crowd of 100,000 fans to a victory parade in Hartford to celebrate the program's first NCAA title.

On this day in 1995, Geno Auriemma and Connecticut won their first women's basketball national championship with a 70-64 win over Pat Summitt and the Tennessee Lady Vols. Led by Naismith Player of the Year Rebecca Lobo and All-American Jennifer Rizzotti, the Huskies (35-0) became just the second women's basketball team in NCAA history to complete a perfect season. The title game was a rematch of UConn's 77-66 regular-season victory over then-top ranked Tennessee. After that win, UConn took over the No. 1 ranking for the first time in school history. In Minneapolis for the championship game, the Huskies rallied from a six-point halftime deficit to capture the title. The team -- which is widely credited for increasing the popularity of women's basketball -- was celebrated with a parade through the streets of Hartford that was attended by more than 100,000 fans. Rizzotti's image was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated shortly after the victory and various team members hit the talk-show circuit. UConn has since won seven more national championships and completed three additional undefeated seasons. The current Huskies are two wins away from their fourth perfect season and their ninth NCAA title. Their pursuit of perfection continues on Sunday in the Final Four in Nashville against Stanford, the team Connecticut beat in the national semifinals back in 1995.

Perfectly Prepared

March, 18, 2014
Mar 18
Geno Auriemma, Muffet McGrawAP Photo/Joe RaymondUConn coach Geno Auriemma and Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw are both looking for a perfect season and a national championship.

With UConn and Notre Dame both boasting perfect records heading into the NCAA tournament, 2014 goes down in history as just the second time two schools enter the women's tournament unbeaten. In 1998, Tennessee (33-0) and Liberty (28-0) put their unblemished records on the line in the tournament but met in the first round. Tennessee dominated No. 16 Liberty with a 102-58 rout to advance and went on to complete its perfect season with a sixth national championship. UConn (34-0) and Notre Dame (32-0), on the other hand, can't meet until the April 8 final in Nashville. UConn is looking for its fifth undefeated season (1995, 2002, 2009 and 2010) and ninth NCAA title while Notre Dame seeks its first perfect season and second title (2001).