The last time women’s basketball fans witnessed the rivalry between UConn and Tennessee on the court, was in 2007. Before then, the two programs competed in 22 games against one another. The late, legendary coach Pat Summitt of the Lady Vols ended the rivalry. At that time, the Huskies were leading the overall series, 13-9.
But now, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has re-established the games in 2020 and 2021.
“The Basketball Hall of Fame is proud to celebrate all levels of the game for both men and women,” said John L. Doleva, president, and CEO of the Naismith Hall of Fame. “When it comes to women’s college hoops, there’s no matchup more highly anticipated than that of UConn vs. Tennessee. We’re so proud to unite these teams in a contest benefitting great causes and honoring the late Hall of Famer Pat Summitt.”
The Pat Summitt Foundation will receive part of the proceeds raised during the two games.
The first meeting between the two will take place on Jan. 23, 2020 in Connecticut. This competition will take place during “We Back Pat” week. This is a week when teams across the country give their support to Summitt. She passed in 2016 from early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type. Tennessee will host the second game in 2021 with both games airing on ESPN networks.
Tennessee’s Holly Warlick – who recently received a three-year contract extension — expressed her thoughts on the storied games:
“We are so excited to join UConn for games that will generate incredible interest for women’s basketball and benefit the Pat Summitt Foundation, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Basketball fans will be intrigued to watch these two programs meet on the court again. And I know Lady Vols and Huskies fans will be eager to pack arenas, cheer on their teams and make a difference for some very worthy causes, including one bearing the name of my coach, mentor, and friend.”
The Huskies’ head coach also voiced his thoughts on the rivalry.
“I am happy to have the Lady Vols back on our schedule and I am thrilled that proceeds to our games will benefit such an important endeavor like the Pat Summitt Foundation. I know our fans will be excited to renew the rivalry with Tennessee and expect them to fill the building for some good basketball and a great cause.”