STORRS, Conn. — Connecticut and Tennessee have agreed to extend their storied women's college basketball rivalry for another two years.
The schools announced Friday they will play each other during the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons, first in Connecticut and then in Knoxville.
"We are excited to play these games and continue the overall series between these historic programs," said Tennessee coach Kellie Harper, who is preparing for her third season in charge at her alma mater and was part of the rivalry in its infancy during the mid-to-late 1990s, when she was a point guard for the Lady Volunteers.
"We've had highly competitive and entertaining games the past two seasons, and our players as well as our fans really enjoy the level of intensity and excitement that occurs when the Lady Vols and Huskies meet," Harper added in a release announcing the series' extension.
Coach Geno Auriemma's Huskies have won 15 of the 24 games between the programs. The teams resumed playing one another in 2020 — after a 13-year hiatus — as part of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Revival Series.
UConn won 60-45 in 2020 and 67-61 this past season in the Huskies' first trip to Knoxville since 2006. The most recent showdown had the added twist of a former Tennessee player, Evina Westbrook, making key contributions in the fourth quarter as the third-ranked Huskies held off the No. 25 Lady Vols' upset bid at Thompson-Boling Arena in late January.
The programs first met in January 1995 in a 1-versus-2 regular-season showdown won by second-ranked UConn, which also won a rematch months later in the NCAA final for the Huskies' first of 11 national championships, the record for Division I women's basketball.
The programs became true rivals as they faced off 20 more times over the next 12 years, but the series was ended after the 2007 season when Tennessee coach Pat Summitt called it off. Auriemma said at the time that Summitt had accused the Huskies of a recruiting violation. Summitt, who died in 2016 at age 64, never went into specifics publicly about why she ended the series.