NCAA Tournament Regional Final
#6/6 Duke (32-3, 12-2)
vs. #1/1 Connecticut (35-1, 16-0)
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 l 7:00 PM l ESPN HD & ESPN3.com
Philadelphia, Pa. l The Liacouras Center (10,200)
Television: ESPN - Dave O'Brien (PXP), Doris Burke (Color), Holly Rowe (Sideline)
Radio: Blue Devil Sports Network -
620 AM - Steve Barnes (PXP),
Morgan Patrick (Color)
Online Radio: none
Live Stats: www.GoDuke.com
Twitter: DukeWBBSID & CoachPDuke
Facebook: Duke Women's Basketball
Series History: UConn leads 6-3
Record: 32-3 (12-2 ACC)
ACC Finish: Tied First
Ranking: #6 (AP), #6 (Coaches)
Last Result: W, 70-63
vs. DePaul, 3-27-11
Joanne P. McCallie (4th Year)
Duke Record: 114-25 (4 Years)
Career Record: 430-173 (19 Years)
Record: 35-1 (16-0 Big East)
Big East Finish: First
Ranking: #1 (AP), #1 (Coaches)
Last Result: W, 68-63
vs. Georgetown, 3-27-11
Geno Auriemma (26th Year)
UConn Record: 770-123 (26 Years)
Career Record: 770-123 (26 Years)
Duke Faces Top-Ranked UConn in Philly Regional Final on Tuesday for Final Four Bid...
Looking for its fifth NCAA Final Four appearance, the sixth-ranked and second-seeded Duke women's basketball team (32-3) will take on top-ranked and No. 1 seeded Connecticut (35-1) on Tuesday, March 29 at 7:00 p.m., at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, Pa. The game will be aired live on ESPN HD and ESPN3.com.
Calling the game will be Dave O'Brien (PXP), Doris Burke (Color) and Holly Rowe (Sideline) for ESPN. Fans can also hear the Blue Devils on the Blue Devil Sports Network on WDNC AM 620 with Steve Barnes (PXP) and Morgan Patrick (Color) on the air. Tuesday's contest will also be aired live on Westwood One radio with John Sadak (PXP) and Ann Schatz (Color) on the air.
Duke is currently ranked No. 6 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Division I Coaches Poll. Connecticut is listed No. 1 in both polls.
The Blue Devils are making their ninth regional final appearance out of the last 14 years. Duke owns a record of 4-4 all-time in NCAA Regional Final action and has previously advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 1999, 2002, 2003 and 2006. The Blue Devils will be facing their second straight Big East team in the tournament.
The winners of the regional final contest will advance to play in the NCAA Final Four in Indianapolis, Ind., on Sunday, April 3 on ESPN.
The 32 victories this season is tied for second-most in school history (35 in 2002-03) ... Duke owns a total of 10 wins against ranked foes, including four against top 10 teams ... the 10 wins against ranked opponents is the most in a single season under Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie ... Duke has a season-best six straight games scoring 70 or more points ... senior Jasmine Thomas has started 95 straight games ... as a team, Duke has taken 41 charges ... Duke has been ranked by the Associated Press for 223 straight weeks, which dates back to the 1999-2000 season ... the Blue Devils have been listed in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll for 271 consecutive weeks - dating back to the 1997-98 campaign.
Storylines/Other Blue Devil Notes...
- Against her last four ranked opponents, Karima Christmas has averaged 15.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.3 steals. She has 12 assists to five turnovers.
- With her 63 steals on the season, freshman Chelsea Gray ranks fourth on Duke's single-season freshman steals chart. She needs two to tie Abby Waner (65) and five to match Lindsey Harding (68).
- Blue Devil senior Jasmine Thomas played on the USA Select Team this past April, which was headed by Connecticut Head Coach Geno Auriemma.
- Duke's Jasmine Thomas and Krystal Thomas along with Connecticut's Maya Moore led the USA Basketball 2007 U19 World Championship team to a 9-0 record and the gold medal in Bratislava, Slovakia.
- Shay Selby, a junior at Duke, and Kelly Faris, a sophomore at Connecticut, played on the same team at the USA Basketball Developmental Festival in 2007. The Blue Team posted a 2-3 overall record.
- In her last three NCAA Regional games, Jasmine Thomas is averaging 21.3 points.
- Karima Christmas has averaged 16.5 points and 10.5 rebounds the last two NCAA regional contests.
- The Blue Devils' defense has forced 20 shot clock violations on the season.
- Over the last two years, Duke is 47-0 when shooting 40.0 percent or better from the field and when scoring 70 or more points this year, Duke is 21-0.
- Duke's 13.0 per game steals average in the first three rounds ranks tied for fourth in the NCAAs, while its 17.7 assists is ninth. The Blue Devils rank second in the tournament with an 8.67 turnover margin and are the highest ranked team still remaining (Kentucky led +9.0). Chelsea Gray ranks 11th in the tourney with a 70.0 field goal percentage (14-of-20).
- With her next start, Jasmine Thomas will move into a tie for fourth on Duke's all-time games started chart along with Mistie Bass with 120.
- The Blue Devils have to face their third ranked opponent in only four NCAA Tournament games. No other No. 2 seed in the tournament faced a ranked opponent in the second round. Duke had to play the highest ranked (No. 10) lower-seeded team in the regional semifinal.
- Duke enters the NCAA Regional final with a nine-game winning streak. In those nine games, the Blue Devils are averaging 76.9 points and hitting 38.7 percent from downtown.
- Duke owns an all-time record of 8-4 in games played in the state of Pennsylvania, including a 93-55 win earlier this season at Pittsburgh.
- The Blue Devils are one of only two teams in the 2011 NCAA Tournament field which feature all members of its squad averaging double-figure minutes -- South Dakota State.
- Duke's five freshmen combined to register 39 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists in the first round against UT Martin, then produced 27 points, 13 rebounds and three assists against Marist and 26 points, 13 rebounds and five assists against DePaul.
- Senior Jasmine Thomas is averaging 17.4 points, 3.8 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals over the last five games. She has hit 47.2 percent of her three-point field goals in the last nine games (25-of-53).
- Senior Karima Christmas has averaged 13.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.9 steals over the last seven games.
- Duke has featured 11 different starting lineups this season. The Blue Devils have changed the lineup eight times over the last 15 games.
- The Blue Devils have hit 50.0 percent or better in three out of the last six games. Duke has hit 50.0 percent or better in 11 games this season.
- Duke's bench has produced 40 or more points in five games this season, including 43 points in the first round against UT Martin. The Blue Devils had a season-high of 51 against WFU in the ACC Tournament.
- In looking at the top 50 teams in the latest NCAA RPI, Duke has totaled a 15-3 overall record against them -- Connecticut (1), Texas A&M (6), Xavier (8), DePaul (11), Miami (12), Kentucky (13), Maryland (14), Florida State (15), Georgia Tech (19), North Carolina (21), James Madison (25), Temple (37), Southern California (44) and Marist (50).
- In the first round game against UT Martin, Duke dished a season-high 25 assists and turned the ball over a season-low eight times.
- Duke has played seven of the top 16 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Devils and Connecticut are the only two teams in the field to play seven of those seeds. Other teams who have played the most are Stanford (5), Baylor (5), Notre Dame (5), Tennessee (3), Xavier (2) and Texas A&M (2).
- The Blue Devils averaged 5,380 fans per game in 15 home games in the regular season, which led the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). It marked the first time since the 2004-05 campaign Duke has led the league in attendance during the regular season. Attendance was also up 11 percent from a year ago.
- In three games during the 2011 ACC Tournament, Duke hit 48.8 percent from downtown (20-of-41), while hitting 51.2 percent of its field goals. The Blue Devils averaged 78.0 points in the three games.
- With her 771 career rebounds, senior Krystal Thomas is ninth on Duke's all-time rebounds list. She needs 18 more boards to move into a tie for eighth along with Alana Beard.
- The Blue Devils have started five different freshmen (Chelsea Gray, Tricia Liston, Haley Peters, Richa Jackson, Chloe Wells) on the season and three different point guards (Gray, Wells and Shay Selby). It marks the first time in school history that Duke has started five different freshmen in a single season.
- Duke started three freshmen -- Chelsea Gray, Haley Peters, Richa Jackson -- at 13th-ranked North Carolina, which was a first in Duke history. No other Blue Devil squad has ever started three freshmen in a single game.
- For the second straight year, Duke boasts only one double-digit scorer -- Jasmine Thomas (14.9). Prior to the last two years, the Blue Devils had not posted only one double-figure scorer since the 1981-82 season (Stacy Hurd, 13.6).
- The Blue Devils have notched 20+ offensive boards in nine games this year.
- In four years at Duke, Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie has notched five victories against top-five ranked teams -- #4/4 Xavier in 2010-11, #3/3 Ohio State in 2009-10, #3/4 Stanford in 2008-09, while knocking off #4/3 Rutgers and #5/4 Maryland in 2007-08.
- Senior Jasmine Thomas continues to move up the Duke career scoring list this season as she now ranks seventh with 1,687 points. She needs 60 more to move into a tie for sixth along with Iciss Tillis (1,712).
- The 11 active players on the Blue Devil roster combined to notch a 3.28 GPA in the fall.
- Duke's bench has outscored the opposing team's starters three times this season -- against Wisconsin (33-26), versus Virginia Tech (29-28) and Wake Forest (51-50).
- The 20-0 record to start the year was the best start by any of Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie's teams over her 19 years as a head coach. The Blue Devils were the last remaining unbeaten team in women's college basketball in 2010-11.
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Connecticut enters the regional final with a 35-1 record and winners of 23 games in a row under Head Coach Geno Auriemma. The Huskies have been led by reigning National Player of the Year Maya Moore (22.3 points, 8.2 rebounds), Tiffany Hayes (14.0 points, 4.7 rebounds), Bria Hartley (12.4 points, 67 treys) and Stefanie Dolson (10.2 points, 6.2 rebounds).
The Series With Connecticut...
The Huskies and Blue Devils have faced each other only nine times in school history with the series in Connecticut's favor, 6-3.
In the NCAA Tournament, Duke and Connecticut have only faced each other once in 2006 when the Blue Devils won in the regional final in Bridgeport Region, 63-61.
Duke had won two straight contests against Connecticut before falling, 74-48, in the Paradise Jam on Nov. 25, 2007, which came during Coach P's first season with the Blue Devils.
Over the course of the series, the higher ranked team has won only five of the nine contests. The home team had also never won a game in the series until 2011, when Connecticut defeated Duke, 87-51.
Blue Devil Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie owns a 1-5 record versus the Huskies with the victory coming on Dec. 29, 2004 at UConn in Gampel Pavilion, 67-51, while at MSU. McCallie is 0-1 against Connecticut in the NCAA Tournament as her Maine squad fell, 105-75 in 1995 as the Black Bears were a No. 16 seed and UConn a No. 1 seed.
Duke Versus the Big East...
Duke holds an all-time record of 35-18 against teams from the Big East Conference -- Cincinnati (0-1), Connecticut (3-6), DePaul (2-1), Georgetown (4-0), Louisville (1-1), Marquette (2-0), Notre Dame (1-4), Pittsburgh (2-0), Providence (3-1), Rutgers (3-2), St. John's (1-0), Seton Hall (4-2), South Florida (2-0), Syracuse (1-0), Villanova (1-0) and West Virginia (2-0).
The Blue Devils are 6-2 in the NCAA Tournament against the Big East -- Rutgers (0-2), DePaul (2-0), Louisville (1-0), Marquette (1-0), Boston College (1-0), Connecticut (1-0).
Blue Devil Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie owns an all-time record of 21-8 against Big East Conference opponents -- Cincinnati (2-0), Connecticut (1-5), DePaul (2-0), Marquette (2-0), Notre Dame (2-0), Providence (4-0), Pittsburgh (2-0), Rutgers (2-3), South Florida (3-0) and Villanova (1-0).
What Happened Last Time?...
In one of Duke's worst losses in school history, the Blue Devils traveled to Storrs, Conn., on Jan. 31 with a 20-0 record under their belt. Duke came away with a 36-point loss, 87-51, in a game that featured the Huskies scoring the first 13 points of the game and took a 23-2 lead with just under 10 minutes left in the first half.
Duke cut the Connecticut lead to 18 points (50-32) at the 14:32 mark of the second half but the Huskies broke open the game once again. For the game, the Blue Devils hit only 28.4 percent of their field goals and were outrebounded 49-28, but forced 20 Connecticut turnovers.
The 26-point halftime deficit was the tied for fourth largest in school history and the 36-point loss was the worst lost since a 36-point loss to Virginia, 97-61, on Feb. 13, 1993.
Jasmine Thomas was the only Blue Devil to score double-digits, while Tiffany Hayes had 20 points and Maya Moore added 29 points.
Doing the Unthinkable...
Duke is back in a position that it was in 1999 when the Blue Devils were seeded No. 3 in the NCAA Tournament and were going up against three-time defending NCAA Champion and top-seeded Tennessee in the NCAA Regional Final in Greensboro, N.C.
The Blue Devils were going up against reigning two-time Naismith Player of the Year Chamique Holdsclaw of the Lady Vols. Duke held Holdsclaw to 2-of-18 field goals and knocked off Tennessee, 69-63, in a game nobody in women's college basketball thought the Blue Devils could win. Duke advanced to its first NCAA Final Four with the win.
Duke is in a very similar contest on Tuesday as Connecticut is the reigning two-time champions, has the reigning two-time National Player of the Year, Maya Moore, and most people are not giving Duke a shot at beating the Huskies.
Upending the Hall of Famers...
Since arriving at Duke four years ago, Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie has defeated seven different coaches that have been inducted in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame -- Van Chancellor (LSU), Sylvia Hatchell (UNC), Debbie Ryan (Virginia), C. Vivian Stringer (Rutgers), Pat Summitt (Tennessee), Tara VanDerveer (Stanford) and Kay Yow (N.C. State).
With a victory on Tuesday versus Connecticut, McCallie would make that eight coaches.
Duke Against No. 1 Teams...
Duke owns an all-time record of 2-4 against No. 1 seeded teams in the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Devils have won three out of the last four contests against teams ranked No. 1 nationally and owns an all-time record of 3-6 against No. 1 ranked opponents.
Slowing Down Connecticut...
In the last three meetings with the Huskies, they have hit over 50.0 percent from the field against Duke. Connecticut is one of only two programs who have hit over 50.0 percent from the field against the Blue Devils over the last three years. -- Texas A&M in 2009.
Connecticut has hit a combined 54.8 percent against Duke in those last three games as the Huskies won all three contests.
Breaking Down the First Three Games...
In three NCAA Tournament games, Duke is averaging 77.0 points, while hitting 45.4 percent of its field goals. The Blue Devils feature three double-figure scorers -- Jasmine Thomas (18.0), Karima Christmas (14.0) and Chelsea Gray (13.3).
Duke's opponents are averaging only 58.0 points, hitting 41.4 percent of its field goals and turning the ball over at a 21.0 per game clip. The Blue Devils are also averaging 17.7 assists and 13.0 steals.