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Can MN Native Paige Bueckers Bring UConn Another Championship In Minneapolis?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minnesota native Paige Bueckers and the UConn Huskies are heading to the championship game of the NCAA tournament.

This is the second time the city has hosted the women's Final Four. The first was back in 1995, six years before Bueckers was even born. The winner that year? The Huskies. It was their first ever NCAA women's basketball championship.

That year, UConn was a No. 1 seed with an undefeated season. They were joined in Minneapolis by fellow first seed Tennessee, No. 2 Stanford and No. 3 Georgia. The Huskies beat Tennessee 70-64 in the championship.

Since then, head coach Geno Auremmia has led the Huskies to 10 more titles, and this will be their 14th straight Final Four appearance.

This season, UConn entered the tournament as a No. 2 seed. They knocked off Mercer (15), UCF (7) and Indiana (3) before beating top-seeded NC State for a Final Four spot. On Friday, the team defeated the defending national champion Stanford 63-58.

Bueckers, who was the first freshman ever to be named the AP's women's basketball player of the year last season, is averaging nearly 16 points a game in the tourney. She missed more than two months earlier in the season with a fracture in her leg.

After Monday's night win over NC State, Bueckers said playing in the Final Four in her home state is "crazy."

"Two days ago I said, 'Win or go home,' but we won and I'm still going home," Bueckers said. "I'm just so excited no matter the location, no matter where it is."

The Huskies will face off against South Carolina in the championship game Sunday night.

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