What's buzzing:

UConn, St. John's to play in Maggie Dixon Classic

AP - Sports
UConn, St. John's to play in Maggie Dixon Classic
.

View photo

The Connecticut team sings Happy Birthday behind head coach Geno Auriemma, right, as he is interviewed on live television after their 87-44 win over Prairie View A&M in a first-round game of the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Sunday, March 23, 2014, in Storrs, Conn. Today is Auriemma's 60th birthday. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Defending champion Connecticut will face St. John's in the ninth annual Maggie Dixon Classic on Jan. 4.

The Huskies, who went 40-0 last season en route to a record ninth national title, will be making their fourth appearance in the game at Madison Square Garden. The event honors former Army coach Maggie Dixon, who died of heart arrhythmia in 2006 at age 28.

UConn has never lost in its three appearances and beat Ohio State in 2010 to tie the vaunted UCLA men's basketball record 88-game winning streak. The Huskies went on to break it and win 90 consecutive contests.

Coach Geno Auriemma's current team has won 46 straight and back-to-back national championships, led by The Associated Press player of the year Breanna Stewart.

The former conference opponents played every year before the Big East broke up last season and UConn joined the American Athletic Conference.

The Red Storm are coming off another NCAA tournament appearance. St. John's beat USC before falling to Tennessee in the second round. Coach Joe Tartamella returns three starters from last season.

''We have always been honored to participate in such a meaningful event. This will be our fourth consecutive appearance in the Maggie Dixon Classic,'' Tartamella said. ''Having the opportunity to play in Madison Square Garden against the defending national champion UConn Huskies will be a great environment for a women's basketball game. Maggie meant so much to the game, and St. John's always has been proud to participate in her honor.''

Dixon's arrhythmia was likely caused by an enlarged heart. Her death came three weeks after her first season as a head coach, when she led Army to its first NCAA berth.

The event also includes a health and heart expo. Garden officials are working to schedule a second game; the previous eight classics have been a doubleheader.

The inaugural Maggie Dixon Classic was held at Army in 2006 - a men's and women's doubleheader. The Pittsburgh men, coached by Maggie's brother Jamie, beat Western Michigan, and Ohio State routed Army. The last seven Classics have been played at Madison Square Garden.

---

Follow Doug on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/dougfeinberg

View Comments (4)
  • Avalanche end 3-game skid, top Canucks 4-1

    Avalanche end 3-game skid, top Canucks 4-1

    Reto Berra waited a long time for another chance to start in the NHL. Berra made 33 saves, and Gabriel Landeskog and Alex Tanguay each had a goal and an assist to lead the Colorado Avalanche past the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 on Thursday night. Berra, … More »

    AP - Sports - 25 minutes ago
  • I was never concerned about my spot, says Australia's Finch

    I was never concerned about my spot, says Australia's Finch

    Australia opener Aaron Finch said he never feared for his place in the side during his lean spell at the World Cup and having found some runs will be raring to go in Sunday's final at his home ground. Finch hit an uncharacteristically scrappy 81 in … More »

    Reuters - 29 minutes ago
  • Landeskog, Tanguay lead the way as Canucks fall flat in loss to Avalanche

    Landeskog, Tanguay lead the way as Canucks fall flat in loss to Avalanche

    Eddie Lack sensed the Vancouver Canucks were ready for another big night in their push for a playoff spot. Gabriel Landeskog and Alex Tanguay each had a goal and an assist, and Reto Berra made 33 saves in his first start in over four months as the … More »

    The Canadian Press - 52 minutes ago
  • Labor unions, developers reach agreement on Los Angeles-area NFL stadium

    (Reuters) - Labor leaders said on Thursday they had reached an agreement with developers of a proposed Los Angeles-area stadium project, which is backed by the billionaire owner of the St. Louis Rams, that could become home for an NFL team. The Los … More »

    Reuters - 54 minutes ago
  • 30 is the new 40 when it comes to home runs these days

    30 is the new 40 when it comes to home runs these days

    ''I mean I grew up watching Barry Bonds hit 73 home runs and now guys are talking about 30's good.'' Home runs have hit their lowest rate in more than two decades. The days of bulked-up sluggers like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa topping … More »

    AP - Sports - 57 minutes ago