April 6: UConn First School to win Dual NCAA Basketball Championships

 

On April 6, 2004, University of Connecticut fans across the state and across the country cheered as the UConn women’s basketball team, led by coach Geno Auriemma , won its 5th NCAA championship, which was the team’s third national championship in a row.  The women beat their longstanding rival, Tennessee, 70 – 61 in San Antonio.  Senior guard Diana Taurasi, the team’s star player, was also named the NCAA’s Most Outstanding Player that same year.

Diana Taurasi, second from left, and her teammates hold up three fingers to commemorate their “three-peat,” or third NCAA championship title in a row. Photo credit: ESPNW.

If that weren’t enough cause for celebration, the women’s victory was compounded by the fact that the UConn men’s basketball team, led by Emeka Okafor and coached by Jim Calhoun, had also won the national championship the night before, beating Georgia Tech 82 – 73.  It was the first time in the history of NCAA Division I basketball that the same school won both the men’s and women’s titles in the same year, and an undeniable high point in the history of Connecticut sports.

A Sports Illustrated commemorative cover, celebrating the UConn Huskies’ historic dual basketball championship in 2004.

To date, this incredible feat has only been accomplished one other time — ten years later, in 2014.  The victorious school? The University of Connecticut — yet again.

 

 

Further Reading

Richard Veilleux, “Twin National Championships Are A First In Division I Basketball,” UConn Advance

UConn men and women both won national titles 10 years ago,” New Haven Register