This season's game between two of the biggest names in women's basketball was postponed until the 2021-22 season because of coronavirus pandemic-related Notre Dame scheduling issues, UConn announced Monday.
UConn coach Geno Auriemma said last week that he anticipated UConn playing all of its marquee nonconference games, listing Baylor, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Tennessee, in addition to its Big East schedule. But he also clarified at the time that his belief was only because he hadn't heard otherwise from those nonconference opponents -- not because they had reconfirmed.
NCAA Division I women's basketball programs are limited this season to a maximum of 25 regular-season games. The ACC has yet to announce its scheduling format for conference games, but even if the conference only maintains last season's 18-game format rather than expanding it, Notre Dame would still have to eliminate several nonconference games.
A Notre Dame spokesperson said the program's current expectation is to play a 20-game conference schedule and four or five nonconference games in close proximity to South Bend, Indiana.
The last season in which the schools did not play in the regular season was 2013-14, the first season after UConn joined the American Athletic Conference. The last time they went an entire season without playing, including the postseason, was the 1993-94 season.
The game this season was supposed to be the first of a four-year contract to maintain the series. UConn said in a release that the series will still run four years, now beginning with a game at UConn next season and concluding at Notre Dame in the 2024-25 season.
This season would have been the first meeting as coaches between Auriemma and Niele Ivey, who replaced Hall of Fame coach Muffet McGraw after her summer retirement.