The Connecticut Huskies and Notre Dame Fighting Irish will meet in Tuesday’s National Championship Game from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee and for the first time ever, both teams enter the game with a perfect record.
Notre Dame improved to 37-0 with a dominating performance over the Maryland Terrapins and didn’t look to miss a beat as they played their first game without senior Natalie Achonwa, who suffered a torn ACL in the regional final win over Baylor. In her absence, Kayla McBride scored a career-high 28 points, with 19 of them coming in a fantastic first half.
UConn advanced to the title game with a strong second half against the Stanford Cardinal as they outscored them by 15 in the game’s final 20 minutes. Led by player of the year Breanna Stewart’s 18 points and four other players to score in double-figures, the Huskies improved to 39-0 as they won for the 45th time in a row.
With the UConn advancing to the men’s final where they’ll take on the Kentucky Wildcats on Monday, it marks only the fourth time that a school has both basketball teams playing for the national title. UConn is the only team to win both titles when they pulled off the feat in 2004.
Notre Dame had UConn’s number up until the Huskies defeated them in the Final Four last season, prior to that game, the Fighting Irish had beat UConn in seven of their last eight meetings, including three times last year.
It was Stewart’s 29 points as a freshman phenom that helped lead the Huskies to the eventual national championship and the same narrative is in play this season as both teams enter undefeated, but one team will leave with their run at perfection coming to a crashing halt.