UConn-Tennessee is back, folks. Is it really a rivalry anymore? Maybe not. But the news still had the women’s basketball world buzzing yesterday, including alumni from both schools. It’s been over a decade since the two teams have played, so there are only a handful of active players left who were actually part of the rivalry.
But that doesn’t mean it’s any less exciting.
“To have the UConn-Tennessee rivalry renewed is very exciting for the basketball world. It is going to be a flashback to old times and all the great games between the two powerhouses of women’s basketball,” former UConn star Breanna Stewart said. “Although I never was a part of the rivalry I am very eager to watch it as it’s brought back to life.”
Stewart’s former teammate, Morgan Tuck, said that even though it had been a few years since the rivalry ended during her time in Storrs, there was still a desire to to play the Lady Vols.
“When I went to UConn, I hoped that we got to play Tennessee,” Tuck said. “I think it’s going to bring a lot of excitement.”
On the other side, former Tennessee player Shekinna Stricklen thinks the two teams would’ve played more had the Lady Vols reached a Final Four.
“If we would’ve made it to the Final Four, a lot of times we were on the same side of the bracket [as UConn],” Stricklen said. “We just didn’t get to the Final Four.”
You can watch the full interview with Tuck and Stricklen below.
Candace Parker is one of the few active WNBA players who played in the rivalry while Maya Moore was the “reason” it ended. Check out their thoughts below.
Video by Ian Bethune.