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No Fuzzy Feelings For Foes in Final

  • Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma listens to a question during a news conference at the NCAA women's Final Four college basketball tournament Monday, April 7, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Connecticut is scheduled to face Notre Dame in the championship game Tuesday. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

    Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma listens to a question during a news conference at the NCAA women's Final Four college basketball tournament Monday, April 7, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Connecticut is scheduled to face Notre Dame in the championship game Tuesday. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

  • Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw answers questions during a news conference at the NCAA women's Final Four college basketball tournament Monday, April 7, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Notre Dame is scheduled to face Connecticut in the championship game Tuesday. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

    Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw answers questions during a news conference at the NCAA women's Final Four college basketball tournament Monday, April 7, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Notre Dame is scheduled to face Connecticut in the championship game Tuesday. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

  • Connecticut center Stefanie Dolson answers questions during a news conference at the NCAA women's Final Four college basketball tournament Monday, April 7, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Connecticut is scheduled to face Notre Dame in the championship game Tuesday. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

    Connecticut center Stefanie Dolson answers questions during a news conference at the NCAA women's Final Four college basketball tournament Monday, April 7, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Connecticut is scheduled to face Notre Dame in the championship game Tuesday. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

  • Connecticut forward Breanna Stewart embraces Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma after the second half of the semifinal game against Stanford in the Final Four of the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Sunday, April 6, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Connecticut won 75.56. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

    Connecticut forward Breanna Stewart embraces Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma after the second half of the semifinal game against Stanford in the Final Four of the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Sunday, April 6, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Connecticut won 75.56. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

  • Connecticut forward Breanna Stewart embraces Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma after the second half of the semifinal game against Stanford in the Final Four of the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Sunday, April 6, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Connecticut won 75.56. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

    Connecticut forward Breanna Stewart embraces Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma after the second half of the semifinal game against Stanford in the Final Four of the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Sunday, April 6, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Connecticut won 75.56. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

  • Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma listens to a question during a news conference at the NCAA women's Final Four college basketball tournament Monday, April 7, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Connecticut is scheduled to face Notre Dame in the championship game Tuesday. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
  • Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw answers questions during a news conference at the NCAA women's Final Four college basketball tournament Monday, April 7, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Notre Dame is scheduled to face Connecticut in the championship game Tuesday. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
  • Connecticut center Stefanie Dolson answers questions during a news conference at the NCAA women's Final Four college basketball tournament Monday, April 7, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Connecticut is scheduled to face Notre Dame in the championship game Tuesday. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
  • Connecticut forward Breanna Stewart embraces Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma after the second half of the semifinal game against Stanford in the Final Four of the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Sunday, April 6, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Connecticut won 75.56. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
  • Connecticut forward Breanna Stewart embraces Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma after the second half of the semifinal game against Stanford in the Final Four of the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Sunday, April 6, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Connecticut won 75.56. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Nashville, Tenn. — Muffet McGraw and Geno Auriemma were well aware of the talk. There has been a buzz throughout women’s basketball all season about the potential showdown between their undefeated teams.

Well, the wait is over.

UConn (39-0) and Notre Dame (37-0) are set to meet in an unprecedented championship clash tonight.

“I think it’s something that everyone’s looked forward to all year long,” McGraw said. “People were hoping we would end up here. It’s great for the game, and I think it’s great we’re both undefeated coming into it. It should be a great matchup for women’s basketball.”

Auriemma agreed that this once in a lifetime matchup — the first time undefeated basketball teams, men or women, have met for the NCAA national crown — could help grow the women’s game.

There’s also so much at stake for both teams.

A victory by UConn over its rival would be the ninth of Geno Auriemma’s career breaking a tie with Pat Summitt for the most all-time. And if he does it, he’ll accomplish it in Summitt’s backyard.

It would also be the fifth unbeaten season for Auriemma and UConn and the first time the Huskies went 40-0. They’d match Baylor as the only team to accomplish that feat.

Notre Dame isn’t concerned about UConn’s program. The Irish are looking for their first since 2001 — the school’s only championship.

“We’re not afraid of them,” Irish sophomore star Jewell Loyd said. “You know a lot of people, like Kayla (McBride) was saying, they look at the jersey and they’re just like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ Obviously, UConn is a great program they’ve done a lot of things that other programs haven’t done. But we go in there we have that swagger that chip on our shoulder that we’re coming in to battle.”

The former Big East schools have a mutual respect for each other, but that’s about where it ends. There’s no love lost between the programs — not even with the coaches.

“We don’t have a relationship,” McGraw said. “I think that (the civility) got lost. When we were in the same conference, I think there was a modicum of it, but I think after beating them and not feeling any respect from that, we lost something.”

McGraw said it would be difficult for the civility to return.

Auriemma believes it’s only natural for the teams be testy having played so many times lately. Before the Irish bolted for the new conference, the teams had met 12 times over the past three seasons.

“Once you play each other two, three, four times a year it gets pretty intense for lots of reasons,” Auriemma said. “It’s only natural. It will probably die down now that we’re not in same conference and we play each other once a year, maybe two. What was happening before wasn’t realistic, that’s not normal. It’s not healthy.”