KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The rivalry between the two most storied programs in women’s college basketball continues Thursday as Tennessee hosts No. 5 UConn in Knoxville. Kellie Harper’s team will be looking for a statement upset win to vault Tennessee back into the Associated Press Top 25.
Tennessee and UConn have met 25 times since their first matchup in 1995. The schools have combined for over half of the NCAA Women’s Championship titles since then.
UConn leads the series all time with a record of 16-9 and has won all three games since the rivalry was renewed in 2020 after a 13-year gap.
The Huskies also have the edge in NCAA Tournament matchups, winning all four matchups in the NCAA title game and five of seven overall in the tournament. Their last tournament clash came in the 2004 National championship game.
Harper will be looking for her first win over UConn as a head coach since she was hired in 2019.
As a player at Tennessee from 1995-1999, Harper was 4-4 against UConn during her career. She led the Lady Vols to tournament wins over UConn in 1996 and 1997 during their three-peat as NCAA champions.
Tennessee’s last win came on Jan. 6, 2007 when the 4th-ranked Lady Vols topped fifth-ranked UConn 70-64 in Hartford. The 2007 victory was the first of back-to-back National Championship wins by Tennessee.
Tennessee’s record stands at 16-6 on the season. They enter Thursday’s game on a nine-game winning streak including wins in all eight matchups against SEC opponents. The Lady Vols have not been ranked in the AP Top 25 since the Week 3 poll but received the most votes of any unranked team in the most recent edition.
The game will tip off at 8 p.m. on Thursday and broadcast live on ESPN. College GameDay will host an hour-long pregame show from Thompson-Boling Arena .