Louisville, UConn plan to extend series

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Louisville and UConn may be going their separate ways once the season ends -- the Cardinals are headed to the ACC while the Huskies will remain the cornerstone of the AAC -- but that doesn't mean old rivalries will die with the new conference allegiances.

Days before No. 4 Louisville meets top-ranked UConn at Gampel Pavilion, Cardinals coach Jeff Walz said that there have been serious talks about a multi-year deal to keep the series going, likely starting in 2015-16. (The Huskies and the Fighting Irish will renew their rivalry next season, too.)

“I enjoying competing against [Geno Auriemma],” Walz said Thursday, via the Hartford Courant's John Altavilla. “We have to figure out a way somehow to beat him. So until we do, it’s not a rivalry in my mind. It’s just a game. He is 10-0 against my teams. It’s not a rivalry until we beat him.

“But I have had people calling me, wondering if we’re going to play UConn again after we leave for the ACC next season. Are we going to do it? Yes. We are going to do it.  I know it’s hard to prepare for them because there is so much to prepare for. But you know his kids are always going to play hard.

“We’re working on something, although it won’t be next year. I have to be concerned right now about not killing myself [competitively] after going to the ACC, especially after graduating as many kids as we are [after this season]. I’m likely in a spot where I’ll start two or three freshman next season. But I’m thinking, unless we can figure something out for next year, we will start a two- or four-year home and home in 2015-16. There have already been discussions about it.”

This is great news not just for the Huskies and the Cardinals, but for women's basketball. Having the nation's best teams face off as much as possible is one way to make the game more popular; rivalries are what college sports are all about. And, frankly, there are only so many 90-40 blowouts that fans can sit through before getting bored and moving onto something else.

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