COVID-19 got the best of the UConn and University of Louisville womenâ€™s basketball teams a season ago as their scheduled meeting was canceled due to an issue within the Huskiesâ€™ program.
But with the news on the pandemic improving, the best news that came out Thursday is UConn and Louisville are slated to meet again.
The Huskies will take on the Cardinals in the eighth Basketball Hall of Fame Womenâ€™s Showcase on Sunday, Dec. 19, at Mohegan Sun Arena.
â€śWeâ€™re always excited to have the opportunity to play down at Mohegan Sun,â€ť UConn coach Geno Auriemma said in a statement. â€śThe Basketball Hall of Fame has put together another great Womenâ€™s Showcase this season. Our fans didnâ€™t have an opportunity to see this team in person last season, so I think itâ€™ll be a great experience for them and for our players.â€ť
The second game of the one-day event will feature Baylor and Michigan in a rematch of a 2021 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 game won by the Bears in overtime.
With the addition of Louisville, the Huskies have two remaining opening on their 2021-22 non-league schedule. They are slated to host Notre Dame and Texas, visit South Carolina and Oregon, and take part at the Battle 4 Atlantis Thanksgiving week.
UConn is 17-2 all-time vs. Louisville with the last meetings coming in 2019 when the teams met twice. The Cardinals defeated the Huskies for the first time under coach Jeff Walz on Jan. 31 at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, with UConn getting revenge two months later with a victory in the NCAA Albany (New York) Regional final.
The teams were scheduled to play in the Hall of Fame Womenâ€™s Challenge last season but the game was canceled due to COVID-19. DePaul replaced UConn in the event and Louisville routed the Blue Demons.
The Huskies will return their starting lineup from a team that reached the Final Four for the 13th consecutive tournament. Theyâ€™ll be led by reigning national Player of the Year Paige Bueckers and theyâ€™ll welcome a highly-regarded freshman class led by No. 1 recruit Azzi Fudd.
The Cardinals advanced to the Elite Eight in San Antonio and led eventual national champion Stanford by 14 in the third quarter. But Stanford outscored Louisville by 29 points in the last 17 minutes to take a 78-63 victory. Guard Hailey Van Lith, a three-time gold medalist alongside Bueckers while playing for USA Basketball, is back for the Cardinals.
Ticket information, game times and TV broadcast details will be released at a later date.
UConn incoming freshmen Azzi Fudd (District of Columbia) and Caroline Ducharme (Massachusetts) have been named their stateâ€™s Gatorade Player of the Year.
Itâ€™s the second honor in three years for Fudd, who missed most of her junior season with a knee injury. In 2019, she became the first sophomore to get the Gatorade national Player of the Year honor. The pandemic cost Fudd, a 5-foot-11 guard, her senior year on the basketball court. Earlier this month she was named to USA Basketballâ€™s U-19 national team.
Ducharme made it two straight Gatorade state awards as the 6-2 guard led Noble and Greenbough to a 11-0 record by averaging 31.0 points, 15.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 4.5 steals. She and Fudd were named McDonaldâ€™s All-Americans though the All-American Game was canceled.
The United State 3x3 national team that features former UConn All-Americans Stefanie Dolson and Katie Lou Samuelson is off to a 2-0 start in pool play at the FIBA 3x3 Olympic qualifying tournament in Graz, Austria.
Team USA defeated Indonesia 21-7 and France 21-17.
The Americans will complete pool games on Saturday against Germany (2-0) at 7:05 a.m. (EDT) and Uruguay (0-2) at 9:10 a.m. (EDT).
The top two teams from the four preliminary-round groups will advance to Sundayâ€™s quarterfinals with the semifinals set for Monday. The winning semifinal teams will earn two of the three Olympic berths at the event. The semifinal winners will not play a championship game. Instead, the two losing semifinal teams will play for third place and the last Olympic spot.