The NCAA Women’s Final Four Show Down!
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Stanford and UConn have met on the biggest stage in women’s basketball many times over the past 27 years, going back to 1995.
The rivalry between the two storied programs led by Hall of Fame coaches Geno Auriemma and Tara VanDerveer will resume Friday night in the Final Four, five years after their previous meeting. VanDerveer and Auriemma are 1-2 on the all-time win list, combining for more than 2,300 victories.
They’ve played in the Final Four or national championship game five times with UConn winning four of the meetings.
The winner advances to Sunday night’s championship game against either Louisville or South Carolina.
This is Louisville’s fourth trip to the national semifinals in 15 seasons under coach Jeff Walz, a feat that has ensured every four-player in the program under his direction has had the opportunity to experience the Final Four.
Yet the Cardinals are the team in this year’s quartet of powerhouses that has generally been the most overlooked, a reminder of the oligarchy still lingering in a sport seeing more parity every season.
No college coach, of course, would ever pass up an opening to play the underdog role. Walz recounted hearing on a talk show this week that the Connecticut-Stanford winner was bound to face South Carolina in the NCAA championship Sunday night, causing him to jokingly wonder if the host mistakenly figured the semifinals only featured three teams.