Apr 8, 2014
09:29 AM
Connecticut Today

With Victory Tonight UConn Does the 'Impossible', NCAA Tourney Sweep (Again)

With Victory Tonight UConn Does the 'Impossible', NCAA Tourney Sweep (Again)

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 05: The Connecticut Huskies mascot, Jonathan the Husky, performs before the NCAA Men's Final Four Semifinal against the Florida Gators at AT&T Stadium on April 5, 2014 in Arlington, Texas.

Amazing! The UConn women just sealed a ninth national title by defeating Notre Dame in convincing fashion, icing the cake of the UConn men's national championship win over Kentucky Monday night. How sweet it is x 2.

Sometimes lightning does strike twice.

In 2004, the UConn basketball program became the first in NCAA tournament history to win both the men’s and women’s national championship. Now 10 years later the program is on the brink of repeating the previously unheard of feat.

Also see: "UConn Women Have an Edge Against Notre Dame in NCAA Championship Game"

and "On Heels of UConn's NCAA Titles, Athletes Unionizing Has Traction"

The UConn men became the national champions last night after they beat the Kentucky Wildcats 60-54. If the women’s team can beat Notre Dame tonight the UConn program will have another NCAA championship sweep—making them not just the only program to accomplish the feat, but also the only team to do it twice.

For some perspective on how rare this is, since the origin of the NCAA women’s tournament in 1982, men’s and women’s basketball teams from the same school have competed in the Final Four only 11 times, UConn is responsible for four of those occurrences (2004, 2009, 2011, and, of course, this year). The only other schools that have accomplished the feat are Duke (1999), Georgia (1983), LSU (2006), Louisville (2013), Michigan State (2005), Oklahoma (2002) and Texas (2003).

However, only UConn has accomplished the feat multiple times.

“I was told it was the fourth time that we’ve done this and it’s an amazing feeling. I can’t be prouder of both of these teams and it’s special to be a part of," UConn athletic director Warde Manuel told Hearst Connecticut Media Group last week, before the men’s victory last night. As for the prospect of both teams winning the national championship Manuel said, “It’s unbelievable. We take a lot of pride internally in being the only institution to ever win both in the same year.’’

The 2004 UConn women’s team was coached by Geno Auriemma, who remains at the helm of the team, and the 2004 men were coached by Jim Calhoun, but the team's success this year was orchestrated by second-year coach Kevin Ollie (below after last night's victory, photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images). 

Whether the women win or lose tonight, UConn clearly has a basketball legacy to be proud of. Since 1999, the program has made a combined 17 Final Four appearances, five for the men and 12 for the women. In this category, Duke is second with eight Final Four appearances, four by the men and four by the women. Over that time period, (counting last night’s victory) UConn has also won 11 national championships, with UConn women winning seven and the men winning four. 

Contact me by email eofgang@connecticutmag.com and follow me on Twitter, and connect with Connecticut Magazine on Twitter, on Facebook and on Google +

 

With Victory Tonight UConn Does the 'Impossible', NCAA Tourney Sweep (Again)

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