The women take their final step toward Sunday's NCAA championship game when Connecticut faces Virginia and Tennessee takes on defending champion Stanford today.

"It's been a great week, but now it's time for what we came for," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said Friday.Connecticut (29-4) is the tournament darkhorse, although the Huskies have won three straight Big East titles. The Huskies feature Kerry Bascom, a three-time Big East Player of the Year.

Coach Geno Auriemma told his team in the preseason that its goal was to win the regular season, the Big East Conference tournament and to get to the Final Four.

"He really knows what we can do and he gets the best out of each of us," Meghan Pattyson said.

Against Virginia (30-2), Auriemma said his team will have to be able to control the perimeter.

"We have to establish early that we can get the shots when we need them," Auriemma said. "If we can do that early, we'll be OK."

Stanford would like to become the first repeat women's champion since Southern Cal in 1983 and 1984.

"We enjoyed it a lot," VanDerveer said. "We liked all the things that went with it. We would like a second time around, but we know it won't be easy."

Tennessee (28-5) fought its way through injuries and problems this season.

After shooting 44.9 percent from the floor early in the season, the Lady Vols finished at 48.4. Turnovers remained a problem and poor free-throw shooting (68.8) plagued Tennessee.