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The end of an era in women's hoops

The regular season series between the women's basketball teams representing Tennessee and Connecticut has officially came to an end.

Published reports state that while UConn signed an agreement to continue the series through the 2008-09 season, Tennessee declined to extend the deal.

ESPN tried to intervene to keep the series going but couldn't get the parties to agree. Outside of the Final Four, the Huskies-Lady Vols game was the marquee event for women's basketball, one that drew national audiences and media attention. It was the regular season showcase for the sport.

And while it will be sad not to see regularly scheduled animosity peeking through thinly veiled compliments from Geno and Pat, it's not completely surprising. When the series began in 1995 the two programs needed each other in order to play a quality opponent. And even though the Lady Vols won their seventh NCAA title this year, there is more parity in the game. UConn needn't look outside the Big East (e.g. Rutgers) nor Tennessee outside the SEC (e.g. Louisiana State) to find top-notch competition.

---Amy Moritz

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