The two best teams in the American Athletic Conference will be playing for the conference title tonight at Mohegan Sun Arena.
UConn and South Florida will be meeting for the third time this season and for the second time in eight days. The Huskies cruised to a 92-50 victory about two months ago in Storrs, while last week's meeting in Tampa was much closer, with the Bulls only losing by 23.
Both teams are expected to make an impact in the NCAA Tournament. USF will be for playing for seeding tonight, as they are projected to be a 6-seed in ESPN's latest bracketology. The Huskies are projected as the top overall seed in the East Region in Albany.
The story is pretty clear right now. Geno Auriemma unleashes his Huskies on the country, which was evident in last night's performance.
"Each game we try to make sure that we're doing things better and better, so whether it's defensively, offensively, finding a flow with each other, we definitely try to build on that, especially after these first two games, playing as a team and [tonight] we will hopefully play even better than that," Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis said.
Breanna Stewart, the nation's best player, has had relatively quiet games over the weekend. However, Mosqueda-Lewis has been on fire. She scored a team-high 21 points in last night's 106-56 victory over East Carolina.
Last night the Huskies put on a shooting clinic. They were 66% from the field during the game, and many times during the first half they were flirting with shooting 80%. Five players scored in double figures - Moriah Jefferson with 20 points and six assists, Stewart with 16 points and 9 rebounds, Morgan Tuck with 15 points, Gabby Williams with 12 points off the bench.
"That's why we practice the way we practice, to take advantage of nights like tonight," Auriemma said.
For South Florida, there game against Tulane was a totally different story. USF was in fight against the 6-seeded Green Wave who were playing their third game in three days. The game was tied with under four minutes left before USF finished off the Green Wave 78-69.
"We looked very sluggish today, we looked out of rhythm," USF coach Jose Ferandez said. "If we do that tomorrow it will be the same scenario that happened up at Gampel and that won't be fun on national TV."
Alisia Jenkins scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds while Courtney Williams added 21 points.
"We have to make sure that every shot [UConn] takes is challenged and if they make those shots and there is a solid, good contest, we have to inbound it and go answer," Fernandez said. "That's our plan."
This has been a great season for USF, a welcome development to have some semblance of competition in AAC. Right now UConn is undefeated in conference play and that trend is most likely to continue tonight, but hopefully this is the start of something for the Bulls in this conference.