(Sporting Alert) — Second Connecticut will go into Monday night’s NCAA Women’s elite eight showdown with Kentucky ready to play as though it will be their last.
After seeing top seed and No. 1 overall pick Baylor stunned on Sunday, the Huskies (32-4) are prepared to make the same mistake in against the Wildcats (30-5).
Experienced coach Geno Auriemma admits that he’s been impressed with the way Kentucky have been playing recently and expects a tough game.
“Kentucky was one of those places where if they get the right coach they’ll be really good,” he said. “Any place that’s good in men’s basketball should be good in women’s basketball.
“(Matthew Mitchell’s) carved out his own style and I don’t know if anybody’s gotten that far that quickly and done a better job in the country than they have.”
At the same time UConn will be hoping to put a dent in their progress with a win in the Bridgeport regional final, especially after losing the Big East regular season or tournament crowns to a very good Notre Dame team.
“I’m hoping everybody realizes that this is literally the last opportunity,” Connecticut senior Kelly Faris was quoted as saying a heading of the clash. “And I’m hoping everybody’s getting the sick feeling in their stomach from losing every time.
“We’ve just got to come together and play Connecticut basketball and listen to every single thing coach says because, obviously, he knows what he’s talking about.
“And if we listen to him, we’ll be all right.”
Kentucky are still feeling disappointed at losing the SEC tournament title to Texas A&M and are not prepared to losing another final.
They will also want to make up for losing to 80-65 at this same stage to Connecticut last year.
Meanwhile, second-seed California (31-3) will take on No. 4 seed Georgia (28-6), another game that contains a team from the SEC.
NCAA Women’s Tournament Games
TIME (ET) MATCHUP TV
7:30 PM (2) Kentucky vs. (1) Connecticut – Live on ESPN3.com and ESPN
9:30 PM (4) Georgia vs. (2) California – Live on ESPN3.com and ESPN