This season has not been as prosperous as the UConn women’s basketball team would have hoped to this point. Both the Big East regular season and tournament championships have been lost for the first time since 1992-93.
Over the next two-plus weeks, however, the third-ranked Huskies can atone for their shortcomings by achieving their ultimate goal. They have the chance to make history in the NCAA tournament by earning a record-tying eighth national championship.
Top-seeded UConn will begin its quest Saturday when it faces No. 16 seed Idaho (17-15) in the first round of the Bridgeport regional at Gampel Pavilion (1:30 p.m.).
The Huskies (29-4) received a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament for the seventh straight year and the 16th time overall. They are making their 25th straight NCAA tournament appearance. It is the third longest active streak behind Tennessee (32) and Stanford (26) and the fourth longest overall.
UConn would meet either eighth-seeded Vanderbilt (20-11) or ninth-seeded St. Joseph’s (23-8) in the second round Monday (7 p.m.). Former Kolbe Cathedral star and Ansonia resident Ashley Prim, a 5-foot-7 senior guard, is averaging 7.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 28.2 minutes for .
Delaware, who is led by senior All-American and former UConn commit Elena Delle Donne, is the seeded sixth in the regional.
The Huskies could potentially face second-seeded Kentucky or third-seeded North Carolina in the regional final at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport April 1. UConn defeated the Wildcats 80-65 in the regional final last season in Kingston, R.I.
UConn is looking to set an NCAA record by advancing to the Final Four for the sixth straight season. The Huskies (2000-04; 2008-12), Stanford (2008-12) and LSU (2004-08) have all advanced to the Final Four in five straight years at least once
Chief rival Notre Dame again could be waiting should the Huskies reach New Orleans. They have lost seven of the last eight games against the Irish, including losses in the national semifinals in each of the last two seasons.