NEW YORK — The last time UConn played in the Maggie Dixon Classic, the Huskies tied UCLA for the longest winning streak in NCAA college basketball history.
Defending national champion Connecticut will make its return to Madison Square Garden to play Cal on Dec. 22 in the eighth annual women's basketball doubleheader, which honors the late Army women's basketball coach. Dixon died in April 2006 of arrhythmia, probably caused by an enlarged heart. Texas A&M will face St. John's in the first game.
Geno Auriemma's squad will face Cal, which had the best season in school history. The Golden Bears reached the Final Four for the first time before falling to Louisville.
The Huskies are coming off their eighth national championship in April and return most of the team, including the most outstanding player of the NCAA tournament, Breanna Stewart.
“The opportunity to play UConn in a marquee matchup at the world's best known arena, Madison Square Garden, is an exciting step for our program,” Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. “More than anything, however, Cal women's basketball is honored to take part in a tournament that bears Maggie Dixon's name. Maggie was a friend of mine and an inspiration to many. This is the premier event in women's college basketball and we are very much looking forward to coming to New York and taking part.”
The game will also serve as a homecoming for Gottlieb, who grew up just outside the city.