NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Women's basketball came away a winner Sunday night. After a season-long buildup, the NCAA tournament will be decided by the perfect championship game.
The undefeated titans of the sport this season will meet Tuesday night in an historic championship game when UConn plays Notre Dame. It will mark the first time in NCAA basketball history that unbeaten teams will play for a title when the former Big East rivals face each other.
"It is pretty amazing," Irish coach Muffet McGraw told The Associated Press after her team beat Maryland 87-61. "So many of the media and fans have been looking at this all season long. It's great that we've made it this far.
"Both of us remaining undefeated. See who the best team is."
Said UConn guard From Moriah Jefferson: "Now we can finally talk about it. That has been the talk of this whole tournament and I guess it is finally here."
The teams didn't play during the regular season this year for the first time since 1995 as Notre Dame moved to the ACC. That helped set up the championship showdown that will put the sport in the spotlight.
"It looked to me like as the season went on it almost looked like it was inevitable to happen," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "It was supposed to happen. Our sport doesn't have enough significant moments. ... To have the spotlight on Tuesday on two teams that one is going to lose for the first time this year, it's pretty remarkable when you think how hard it's to do for one team much less two."
Notre Dame (37-0) is one of the rare teams that has had success against the Huskies in recent history, winning seven of the past nine meetings, including beating UConn twice in the national semifinals. McGraw drew attention to that fact during the tournament selection show.