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)
  • Teixeira homers from both sides as Yanks rout White Sox 13-6

    Teixeira homers from both sides as Yanks rout White Sox 13-6

    Mark Teixeira is on a hot streak, and it doesn't seem to matter whether he's swinging right- or left-handed. Teixeira homered from both sides of the plate for the record 14th time, hitting his 10th grand slam and a two-run homer that led the New … More »

    AP - Sports - 11 minutes ago
  • Castillo, Lamb HR in 10th as Diamondbacks beat Astros 6-4

    Castillo, Lamb HR in 10th as Diamondbacks beat Astros 6-4

    Welington Castillo was mad after striking out with a chance to put Arizona ahead in the seventh. Castillo and Jake Lamb homered in the 10th inning, and the Diamondbacks beat the Houston Astros 6-4 Friday night for their season-high sixth straight … More »

    AP - Sports - 16 minutes ago
  • Salazar gives up 1 hit in 8 innings as Indians beat A's

    Salazar gives up 1 hit in 8 innings as Indians beat A's

    Danny Salazar thought about asking for the chance to finish his start Friday night. Salazar allowed one hit over eight innings, Michael Bourn doubled in the tiebreaking run in the ninth and the Cleveland Indians beat the Oakland Athletics 2-1 for … More »

    AP - Sports - 19 minutes ago
  • Mets get Cespedes, Hamels spurned Astros

    Mets get Cespedes, Hamels spurned Astros

    The Mets finally landed the bat they were looking for in Yoenis Cespedes just ahead of Friday's trade deadline, and Cole Hamels confirmed he blocked a trade to Houston before Philadelphia dealt its ace to Texas. Sixteen trades were made Friday … More »

    AP - Sports - 27 minutes ago
  • Flores' HR in 12th lifts Mets over Nats

    Flores' HR in 12th lifts Mets over Nats

    Wilmer Flores gave Mets fans one more reason to fall for him - this time with his bat as well as his heart. The new favorite at Citi Field hit a leadoff homer in the 12th inning to lift New York over the Washington Nationals 2-1 Friday night in the … More »

    AP - Sports - 27 minutes ago