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Lincoln, Neb. — Geno Auriemma likened the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight game to the last hundred feet of climbing Everest, warning that this is when the most accidents happen.
"You can see the end," he said, "and it affects people in different ways."
Except his people.
The top-ranked UConn women handled Monday night's finality the way they handle everything else: calmer than a lagoon, even in the face of their opponent's resolve.
And they're off to the program's seventh straight Final Four, its 15th overall, following their 69-54 victory over No. 3 Texas A&M at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The Huskies (38-0) will play the winner of tonight's Stanford-North Carolina game in the national semifinals Sunday night at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Game time will be determined today. The national championship game is April 8 at 8:30 p.m.
This is the 11th time in NCAA history that two basketball programs from the same school have made the Final Four and the fifth time at UConn, the lone school to win national championships the same year (2004).
UConn seeks its ninth national women's title, which would give the Huskies the most in the history of women's basketball. Ironically, Connecticut's accomplishment would come in Tennessee. UConn and that state are tied at eight national championships each.