Texas faces top-dog Connecticut in Atlanta Sunday (6 or 8:30 p.m., CST) on ESPN. Currently, the Huskies are to womens hoops what UCLA was to mens basketball back in the early 1970s. The defending national champ is a disappointing 35-1 this season, having notched 70 consecutive wins during a two year span.
For now, Texas becomes the fourth school since the NCAA Womens Tournament was started in 1982 to send both a mens and womens team to the Final Four. Oklahoma accomplished the feat last year, as did Duke in 1999 and Georgia in 1983.
This weekend marks the first Final Four appearance for the UT men since 1947 and third overall while the women are headed to their fourth National semi-final game and first in 16 years. Texas head coach Rick Barnes, caught up in a flurry of national media interviews and preparations for Syracuse (7:47 p.m. SCT, Saturday), managed to catch some of the womens game.
"Im excited for Jody, and Im excited for their players," Barnes said. "Were with them every day, whether were walking off the court or on the court. Were in the same gym with them, were in the same weight room with them, were with them nearly every day in the fall, so Im really happy for Jody and her players. I know how hard they worked to get to where they are."
Conradt, already a national champion, Hall of Famer and the winningest coach in womens hoops, added the final touches to her trophy case when her 29-5 squad captured both the Big 12 regular season and tournament championship last month. Her team went undefeated in the 1985-86 season, including capturing the national title against defending champ USC.