UConn and Notre Dame will not play in women’s basketball this season due to Notre Dame having to revise its schedule because of the coronavirus pandemic, UConn announced Monday.
The two women’s basketball powerhouses have played every year in the regular season since the 2013-14 season and every year, including the postseason, since 1994-95. They were supposed to play the first game of a four-year series this year but now this year’s rescheduled game will be added to the end of the series, for the 2024-25 season.
UConn’s complete schedule has not been released yet. The Huskies still have non-conference games against Tennessee, Baylor and South Carolina, as well as the Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge with games against Quinnipiac and the winner of Mississippi State-Maine Nov. 28-29 at Mohegan Sun Arena.
It would have been the first time UConn played Notre Dame without long-time coach Muffet McGraw, who retired in April after 33 seasons, two national championships (2001 and 2018) and 936 wins. Niele Ivey, Notre Dame’s associate head coach and former point guard who helped the Irish win their first NCAA title, took over as head coach.
McGraw’s tenure was marked with spirited battles with UConn and coach Geno Auriemma and for many years, the game was one of the top women’s games of the regular season and in the NCAA Tournament. In the postseason, Notre Dame and UConn faced each other in the national semifinal or national championship game eight out of nine years the Fighting Irish advanced to the Final Four.
“We’re going to miss the competition and we’re going to miss the impact she had on our game,” Auriemma said in a statement in April. “We had some memorable moments that will live forever in the history of women’s basketball.”
The last time the two teams faced each other was last December when UConn beat Notre Dame, 81-57 in a lopsided victory. Notre Dame had a down year last season, after losing a number of players from its national championship team in 2018. Had the NCAA Tournament not been canceled, it would have been the first time the Irish missed it in 24 years, with a 13-18 record.
Lori Riley can be reached at [email protected]
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