UConn-Rutgers rivalry


UConn-Rutgers rivalry

The women's basketball rivalry between the University of Connecticut (UConn) Huskies and the Rutgers University Scarlet Knights is arguably the fiercest rivalry in women's college basketball since the discontinuation of the regular-season series between UConn and the University of Tennessee Lady Vols. [cite web|url=http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2007/06/08/uconn-tennessee-end-womens-basketball-rivalry/|title=UConn, Tennessee End Women's Basketball Rivalry|accessdate=2008-03-04] While UConn has won five national championships and Rutgers has yet to win even one, the Scarlet Knights have won five of the last nine meetings against the Huskies, including the 2007 Big East Tournament championship.

History

As of March 4, 2008, UConn leads the series, 21-6, including 17 of the first 18 meetings between the two teams. [cite web|url=http://www.connpost.com/sports/ci_8423372|title=Rutgers has joined UConn, nation's elite|accessdate=2008-03-04] When Rutgers joined the Big East Conference in 1995, the two teams met only once a year. After the unranked Scarlet Knights nearly upset the then-undefeated Huskies on January 8, 2003, the two teams were scheduled to play twice during the 2003-04 regular season, and have done so every season since. While the Huskies would handily win the next three meetings, Rutgers finally broke through on February 18, 2005, as they defeated the Huskies for the first time in seven years, 76-62.

In recent years, the teams have met for games that included championship implications. On March 7, 2007, the Scarlet Knights won their first-ever Big East Tournament championship by beating the Huskies, 55-47. However, on March 3, 2008, UConn would defeat Rutgers for the regular-season championship, 66-46.

Geno Auriemma & Cappie Pondexter

The rivalry had been partially fueled by an altercation that occurred between UConn head coach Geno Auriemma and former Rutgers player Cappie Pondexter after the 2005 Big East Tournament championship game. Auriemma reportedly made inappropriate remarks towards Pondexter, who retaliated by pointing her finger towards Auriemma. [cite web|url=http://media.www.dailytargum.com/media/storage/paper168/news/2005/03/10/Sports/Postgame.Fireworks.In.Hartford-890904.shtml|title=Postgame fireworks in Hartford|accessdate=2008-03-06] Big East Commissioner Michael Tranghese released a statement days later clearing Auriemma of any wrongdoing. [cite web|url=http://sports.espn.go.com/ncw/news/story?id=2008641|title=Tranghese: A 'misunderstanding'|accessdate=2008-03-06]

References


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