espnW: UConn

How Dare Geno Auriemma Call Mo'ne Davis To Congratulate Her!

September, 3, 2014
Sep 3

After her star turn at the Little League World Series, Mo’ne Davis received a phone call from UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma congratulating her on her success. Adorable, right?

Wrong. Apparently. According to the Hartford Courant, an unidentified rival school filed a complaint to the American Athletic Conference claiming the phone call constituted a recruiting violation.

Womp, womp. So that’s kind of a buzzkill.

Davis, who has repeatedly stated her dream is to one day play for the Huskies, is in the eighth grade and, per UConn, is not officially considered a prospective student-athlete until she reaches high school. Clearly the petitioning school disagrees, but it also sounds like it wouldn’t like puppies, butterflies or anything fun, so I’m not sure how seriously we should take its opinion on anything.

Obviously the people of the Internet had some thoughts on the matter.

What’s next? A college coach being reprimanded for giving a high-five to one of her kid’s third-grade soccer teammates? CALM DOWN, EVERYONE.

See something entertaining on social media that you think deserves to be shared? Let me know on Twitter, @darcymaine_espn.

10 fast facts about A'ja Wilson

April, 16, 2014
Apr 16
A'ja WilsonBrian Spurlock/USA TODAY SportsAfter months of speculation, top prospect A'ja Wilson will finally announce her college decision today.

A'ja Wilson has narrowed down her finalists to Connecticut, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina, and now the No. 1 prospect in the espnW HoopGurlz Top 100 will announce her decision live today on the "ESPNU Signing Day Special" (ESPNU/WatchESPN, 3 p.m. ET). Here are 10 fast facts about the 6-foot-5 forward.

1. Wilson averaged 35 points, 15 rebounds and 5 blocks per game during her senior season at Heathwood Hall (Columbia, S.C.) and led the team to a state championship. She ranks second in school history in career points and first in career rebounds and blocks.

2. She nearly swept the major awards for a high school basketball player. She was named the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Year, Parade Magazine’s Player of the Year and was named a McDonald’s All American.

3. Wilson had 10 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks and 3 steals for the East team in a losing effort at the McDonald’s All American Game earlier this month at the United Center in Chicago. Wilson also competed in the dunk contest against seven of the best high school boys in the country. She was unable to convert a dunk in either of her two 45-second rounds.

4. Wilson was one of only three players from the Class of 2014 to make the USA Basketball U19 world championship team, which recorded a 9-0 record this past summer and won the gold medal in Lithuania. She averaged 10.9 points and a team-high 7.9 rebounds per game.

5. Despite an early reluctance to play basketball, Wilson made the varsity team as an eighth-grader at Heathwood Hall and averaged 15.5 points and 14 rebounds per game in her first season.

6. In December, Wilson set the CresCom Bank Holiday Invitational single-game scoring record with 56 points. She also broke the four-game records for points (167) and rebounds (83) at the event.

7. A talented all-around athlete, Wilson has been named all-state and all-region in volleyball and once considered playing in college. She also broke her high school’s record in the 100 meters as a member of the track team.

8. Wilson compares her versatile game to Candace Parker's, but also sees similarities to Kevin Durant. However, she models her Twitter game after Blake Griffin.

9. Her father, Roscoe Wilson Jr., played basketball at Benedict College (S.C.) and professionally in Europe for 10 years.

10. The 17-year-old hopes to study sports marketing and psychology at whichever college she decides to attend.

5 Fast Facts from historic night

April, 9, 2014
Apr 9
UConnDon McPeak/USA TODAY SportsConnecticut routed Notre Dame on Tuesday night and propelled itself into the record books with its ninth NCAA title.

The 2014 NCAA tournament is a wrap. And a historic one at that. The Connecticut Huskies routed the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 79-58 Tuesday night in Nashville to win the NCAA women's basketball national championship. Here are five fast facts about the game to impress your co-workers at the water cooler today.

1. With the win, Geno Auriemma and UConn move out of a tie with Pat Summitt and Tennessee for most NCAA women's basketball titles overall with nine. Auriemma is now one title shy of matching John Wooden's Division I record of 10.

2. The Huskies finished the season at 40-0, completing the fifth perfect season for the program and the eighth in women's college basketball history. UConn joins the 2012 Baylor Lady Bears as the only teams to reach 40-0.

3. Both the men's and women's teams at UConn won the NCAA title this week, marking the second time that the same Division I school won both championships in the same season. The Huskies also did it in 2004. Just as impressive, the Huskies are a combined 13-0 in national championship games.

4. UConn sophomore Breanna Stewart was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player for the second straight season. She is the first player to win the award back-to-back since Candace Parker of Tennessee did it in 2007 and 2008.

5. Notre Dame is 1-3 all-time in national championships. The Irish have lost three straight since winning the NCAA title in 2001.

Notre Dame-UConn: 10 fast facts

April, 8, 2014
Apr 8
Getty ImagesUConn and Notre Dame will put their perfect seasons on the line in Tuesday night's national championship game.

Need a crash course before the epic collision of Connecticut and Notre Dame? Here are 10 fast facts for Tuesday night's NCAA championship game (8:30 ET, ESPN/WatchESPN) between the two undefeated powerhouses.

1. This is the first time in NCAA Division I basketball history -- men or women -- that two undefeated teams will meet in the championship game. Connecticut is 39-0, and Notre Dame is 37-0.

2. UConn is 8-0 in NCAA title games; Notre Dame is 1-2.

3. The Huskies are looking to complete their fifth undefeated season in program history. The combined total of undefeated seasons from all other Division I women’s basketball programs is three.

4. UConn is tied with Tennessee for the most women's basketball national championships with eight. With a win Tuesday night, the Huskies would break the record and coach Geno Auriemma would pass former Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt for most titles won by a women’s basketball coach.

5. Notre Dame has advanced to the championship game three out of the past four seasons, but the Fighting Irish haven’t won a title since 2001.

6. The Huskies have won their first five games of the tournament by a combined 135 points. Their closest game was a 69-54 win over Texas A&M. The Irish have outscored their first five tournament opponents by a combined 130 points, with a pair of 17-point victories being their toughest tests.

7. Both UConn and Notre Dame’s last losses have come at the hands of the other. UConn last lost in the 2013 Big East championship game, falling 61-59 to Notre Dame. Notre Dame last lost in the 2013 NCAA tournament semifinals, falling 83-65 to UConn.

8. The Irish have won seven of the past nine meetings against the Huskies over the past seven seasons. Baylor is the only other school with multiple wins (2) against UConn in that time span.

9. UConn looks to become the first team to win back-to-back national championships since UConn did it in 2009 and 2010. The Huskies also won three straight titles from 2002 to 2004.

10. Both teams have three Associated Press All-Americans on their rosters -- Breanna Stewart, Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley for UConn and Kayla McBride, Jewell Loyd and Natalie Achonwa (injured) for Notre Dame. Stewart and McBride are the only two to make the first team.

12 Perfect pairs

April, 4, 2014
Apr 4
Aubrun TigersJonathan Ferrey/Getty ImagesCam Newton and Auburn beat Oregon in the most recent meeting of two unbeaten teams in a national title game.

With just the semifinals standing in the way of a clash of unbeatens between UConn (38-0) and Notre Dame (36-0) in the NCAA women's basketball tournament, we look back at the 12 previous NCAA championship games between perfect teams.

Auburn vs. Oregon football, 2010: Led by quarterback Cam Newton, the Tigers edged the Ducks 22-19 in the BCS National Championship.

Alabama vs. Texas football, 2009: After the Longhorns lost star quarterback Colt McCoy to injury early, the Crimson Tide capitalized and took home the BCS title with a 37-21 victory.

USC vs. Oklahoma football, 2004: Despite entering the game with matching 12-0 records, the Trojans routed the Sooners 55-19 in the BCS Championship. The title was later stripped from the Bruins for NCAA violations and no champion is recognized from that season.

Miami vs. Ohio State football, 2002: Bringing a 34-game winning streak into the BCS Championship, the Hurricanes fell to the Buckeyes in a double-overtime classic, 31-24.

Florida State vs. Virginia Tech football, 1999: The Seminoles held off a second-half rally by the Hokies for a 46-29 victory and claimed their second national championship.

Long Beach State vs. Penn State women's volleyball, 1998: The 49ers became the first volleyball program in Division I history to finish the season undefeated by topping the Nittany Lions. Long Beach State was led by now-icon and three-time Olympic gold medalist Misty May.

Marshall vs. Montana football, 1996: The Thundering Herd, featuring Randy Moss and Chad Pennington, captured their second NCAA Division I-AA title with a 49-29 victory over the Grizzlies.

Old Dominion vs. Iowa women's field hockey, 1992: The Monarchs took home their third consecutive national title, and seventh overall, with a 4-0 win over Iowa.

Johns Hopkins vs. Syracuse men's lacrosse, 1984: The Blue Jays snapped the Orange's 22-game win streak -- that stretched over two seasons -- with a 13-10 victory in the national championship.

North Carolina vs. Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse, 1981: North Carolina won its first lacrosse title by edging Johns Hopkins 14-13.

Cornell vs. Maryland men's lacrosse, 1976: The Big Red needed overtime to beat the Terps 16-13 to win their second national championship.

Howard vs. Saint Louis men's soccer, 1971: The first known meeting of unbeatens in the NCAA finals, Howard topped Saint Louis 3-2. The NCAA later stripped Howard of the title for allegedly using ineligible players.

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.

The Best Ever?

March, 31, 2014
Mar 31
UConn BasketballAP Photo/Bob ChildDiana Taurasi, Tamika Williams, Asjha Jones, Swin Cash and Sue Bird are considered by many to be the best starting five in the history of women's college basketball.

On this day in 2002, Connecticut beat Oklahoma 82-70 to win its third women's basketball national championship. That team is widely considered the best women's college basketball has ever seen. Led by Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Asjha Jones, Diana Taurasi and Tamika Williams, the Huskies completed a perfect season at 39-0. After a dominant regular season -- with a nine-point win at Virginia Tech marking the smallest margin of victory -- UConn rolled through the Big East tournament and the NCAA tournament. During its semifinal at the Alamodome in San Antonio, UConn routed archival Tennessee 79-56. In the NCAA championship game in front of a record crowd of 29,619, the Huskies and Sooners battled until the game's final minutes, when UConn pulled away behind a Taurasi three-point play and four consecutive free throws by Bird in the final 48 seconds. Cash was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player for her 20 points and 13 rebounds in the final. After the game, basketball legend and analyst Nancy Lieberman called the team the greatest squad to ever play the game. "The Huskies' starting five is the best I've ever seen -- passing, rebounding, defense and intensity," she told "They have an incredible killer instinct, a feel for the game no one else has had. They play relentless for 40 minutes."

The current UConn squad, which also is undefeated, looks to continue its quest to bring home the ninth NCAA championship in program history tonight in the Elite Eight against Texas A&M.

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).

Ready for the Madness?

March, 14, 2014
Mar 14
NCAA TournamentBob Donnan-USA TODAY SportsTime to start preparing your eyes for the countless hours you'll spend viewing college basketball over the next three weeks.

With just one weekend left to prepare for Selection Sunday and Monday, basketball fans everywhere are gearing up for the annual binge-watching tradition affectionately known as March Madness. Here are five fun facts about the yearly event featuring the best men's and women's college teams in the country.

1. Seven men's teams (San Francisco in 1956, North Carolina in 1957, UCLA in 1964, 1967, 1972 and 1973 and Indiana in 1976) and seven women's teams (Texas in 1986, Connecticut in 1995, 2002, 2009 and 2010, Tennessee in 1998 and Baylor in 2012) have won the NCAA tournament with perfect records. Wichita State on the men's side and Connecticut and Notre Dame on the women's side look to join the list next month.

2. A No. 11 seed is the lowest seed to ever make the men's Final Four, and that has happened on three different occasions -- LSU in 1986, George Mason in 2006 and VCU in 2011. No. 9 Arkansas in 1998 was the lowest seed to make the Final Four on the women's side.

3. The Harvard women's squad in 1998 is the only 16 seed team in men's or women's basketball defeat a No. 1 seed. The Crimson beat Stanford 71-67 in the historic upset.

4. All four No. 1 seeds have made the Final Four just once (2008) in men's tournament history and twice (1989 and 2012) in the women's tournament.

5. In 2004, the Connecticut men's and women's teams both won the national title, marking the first and only time both basketball programs from the same Division I school won the title in the same year.

7 fast facts for UConn-Baylor

January, 13, 2014
Jan 13
Kim Mulkey, Geno AuriemmaAP Photo/Jessica HillGeno Auriemma has an 856-133 record in his 29th season at UConn, and Kim Mulkey is 386-82 in her 14th season at Baylor.

No. 7 Baylor puts its 69-game home winning streak on the line tonight (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2 and WatchESPN) in Waco against top-ranked UConn. Here are some fast facts about the rivalry, which is 2-2 all-time:

1. The Huskies won the first meeting, 70-50, in a 2010 Final Four semifinal. It remains their only postseason matchup.

2. UConn’s 65-64 win over Baylor on Nov. 16, 2010, was the team’s 80th straight victory. The Huskies went on to win a record 90 consecutive games, surpassing the UCLA men’s team’s 88-game streak.

3. The Lady Bears have won the last two showdowns -- on Dec. 18, 2011, and Feb. 18, 2013 -- by a combined 11 points.

4. This is the Huskies' second trip to Waco, they are 0-1 at Ferrell Center.

5. During the 2013 meeting, former Baylor standout Brittney Griner reached the 3,000 career-points milestone and had 25 points on the night.

6. Former UConn star and reigning WNBA Finals MVP Maya Moore’s 34 points in the 2010 Final Four game are a series record.

7. The 2013 meeting took place in front of a sellout crowd of 16,294 at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn.

Conference Call

December, 27, 2013
UConn MascotCal Sport MediaJonathan the Husky looks pretty excited about the upcoming women's basketball schedule.

This weekend largely marks the end of the nonconference portion of the women’s basketball season. And while matchups like UConn-Stanford, UConn-Duke and Tennessee-Stanford were a great way to tip off the season, here are our elite eight conference games before March that we can’t wait to see.

Jan. 5: Maryland at North Carolina, ESPNU
Jan. 27: Notre Dame at Maryland, ESPN2
Feb. 2: Notre Dame at Duke, ESPN
Feb. 2: Stanford at Cal, ESPN2
Feb. 9: Louisville at UConn, ESPN
Feb. 10: North Carolina at Duke, ESPN2
Feb. 16: Kentucky at Tennessee, ESPN
Feb. 23: Duke at Notre Dame, ESPN

But if you just can’t get enough of the nonconference showdowns, there are two more next month that are perfectly acceptable to start popping the popcorn for.

Jan. 13: UConn at Baylor, ESPN2
Jan. 20: Notre Dame at Tennessee, ESPN2

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.