Both teams have enjoyed a lot of postseason success the past few seasons. And both have had a rare win over the Connecticut Huskies on their homecourt over the past two years. They just aren't at all familiar with each other.
In the first regional semifinal Sunday night (ESPN2, 7 ET) in the Bridgeport Regional, top-seeded Duke (28-3) plays No. 4 Michigan State (24-9).
The Blue Devils have made it to the round of 16 for the ninth
straight year and are meeting the Spartans for the first time in
the NCAA Tournament.
Their only matchup was 11 years ago in the title
game of the Duke Classic, which the Blue Devils won 67-52.
Duke brings plenty of experience to the postseason, reaching the
Big Dance 13 times with two Final Four appearances. Seniors
Monique Curry, Mistie Williams and Jessica Foley aim to be the
group that delivers coach Gail Goestenkors her first national
"Coach G has put so much into this program since she's been
here,'' Willliams said. "She's had so many opportunities. This
year is different than the other years I've been here because every
one on this team is so close. We're trying to win it for each
Michigan State, last year's national runner-up, sports the
program's winningest duo in seniors Lindsay Bowen and Liz Shimek
with 96 career wins. They started every game of their careers while
rewriting the record books. Shimek is the Spartans' all-time leader
in points (1,775 points) and rebounds (1,123) and field goals
(717). Bowen holds the 3-point record (292).
"This is a fun time for seniors,'' Michigan State coach Joanne
P. McCallie said. "I think of it as a new beginning instead of an
end. Liz and Lindsay are extraordinary people. What they have given
to Michigan State is remarkable.''