HARTFORD, Conn. -- Hello again from the XL Center, where No. 1 UConn is about to take on No. 7 Louisville in the Big East tournament championship game. This is a game featuring the three best players in the conference: Maya Moore and Renee Montgomery for UConn and Angel McCoughtry for Louisville.
Moore edged out McCoughtry for player of the year, but it is Montogmery who could be the key tonight. Of all the UConn starters, Montgomery is the only one still looking to hit her stride.
This is the 10th 1-vs.-2 in the Big East final, with the No. 2 winning 5 of the first 9 meetings. UConn is in the title game for the 19th time and is seeking title No. 15.
Postgame: Five of my six players made the tournament team. Montgomery did not. Candyce Bingham of Louisville earned the final spot. Moore was the MOP, as expected.
UConn 75-36, Final: The coronation is complete. It's the Huskies' fifth straight tournament title and 19th overall. UConn's average score this tournament was 75-40. The NCAA Tournament awaits.
UConn 69-27, 7:52: Maya Moore comes out of the game to a standing ovation. She scored 28 points tonight, leaving no doubt she is the Big East player of the year.
UConn 65-24, 11:57: Here's what I have on my All-Tournament ballot: Most Outstanding Player: Maya Moore. All-Tournament team: Kalana Greene, Tina Charles, Renee Montgomery, UConn; Angel McCoughtry, Louisville; Shavonte Zellous, Pittsburgh.
Montgomery was the only reach on my ballot. She really didn't have a great three days, by her standards, but there really wasn't anyone else that stepped up to deny her a spot. Greene and Charles were money all three games. If Moore hadn't gone off as a scorer the final two games, Greene and Charles could have made a case for MOP. They'll settle for the trophy, instead.
UConn 65-24, 12:20: Another big run, this one 15-0 to open the second half. Charles has eight of her 21 points and Moore has five of her 24 in the run. Next up: Selecting the all-tournament team.
UConn 55-24: 15:45: No scoring for almost four minutes.
UConn 55-24, 17:15: The refs are certainly getting their money's worth out of this one. Three players already have three fouls, including Kalana Greene, who just picked up No. 4. It has removed all flow from this game, which the Huskies continue to control.
The Huskies continue to dominate on the glass this tournament, outrebounding Louisville 25-13 in the first half. UConn has a 22-6 edge in the paint and 10-2 on second-chance points. McCoughtry is 3-for-12 from the field and has two turnovers. Tina Charles had 13 points, 9 rebounds. A terrific tournament for Charles, as well.
UConn reaches 50 points at the half for the seventh time this season, but the first since Dec. 18 against Washington, a total of 25 games.
UConn 50-24, Halftime: Louisville ends the half on a 7-0 run, but it is way too little, too late.
UConn 50-17, 2:32: Even when Louisville tries to get tough -- and maybe a little dirty -- it backfires. After Maya Moore hit a three-pointer, she got free for a breakaway layup, but was knocked hard into the camera well by Tiera Stephen, who was called for an intentional foul. Somehow, Moore made the layup as she was hit, then got two more free throws. She made one, Charles rebounded the other and scored and it's a 33-point lead. Moore has 19 points.
UConn 42-15, 3:48: Moore has the scoring lead with 13 points. Tina Charles has 11. McCoughtry has just seven for Louisville.
UConn 33-9, 7:47: UConn has had runs of 9-0, 7-0, 7-0 and 8-0, the latter ongoing after four straight points from Greene, who is sneaking up on the outside for tournament MVP. Moore will probably get it, but Greene has had three solid games and has totally locked down McCoughtry tonight. I'd vote for Greene.
UConn 31-9, 8:41: McCoughtry picks up her second foul at the offensive end, this time climbing Greene's back on a rebound attempt. This game is already over.
UConn 25-7, 10:17: Another 7-0 run for the Huskies, including a pair of three-pointers by Maya Moore, who is looking to take over this game. The defense against McCoughtry remains stifling. She is a total non-factor tonight.
UConn 18-7, 11:44: Becky Burke hits a three for Louisville to end a 7-0 UConn run, but this game is all Huskies. Angel McCoughtry has been a non-factor so far, defended well by Kalana Greene. McCoughtry is 1-for-4 from the field and Louisville is 2-for-13. The Huskies have made 7 of 10 shots.
UConn 18-4, 12:16: Louisville coach Jeff Walz, seeing this game slipping away and UConn pushing the Cardinals around, picks up a technical foul after screaming at referee Dennis DeMayo.
UConn 13-4, 13:21: Tiffany Hayes breaks up almost three minutes of scoreless action with a pull-up jumper at the foul line. Kalana Greene and Tina Charles have already stepped up this tournament. If Hayes can raise her game, this team will be unbeatable.
UConn 11-4, 15:40: McCoughtry finally gets something going with a three-pointer, but the Huskies have hit Louisville with a flurry of inside baskets to forge the early lead. All five UConn starters have scored.
UConn 7-0, 17:13 remaining: So far, it's Maya and Renee and nothing from Angel. Moore scored inside and Montgomery spotted up for a deep three and a 7-0 lead. McCoughtry has barely touched the ball on offense, and when she did take matters into her own hands, she committed a charge.