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Baylor's Brittney Griner defends Connecticut's Tina Charles during the Women's Final Four at the Alamodome. (Jeff Gross Getty Images)

Two-time defending National Champion Connecticut and Final Four participant Baylor are set to participate in the 2010 State Farm Women’s Tip-Off Classic from the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., on Tuesday, Nov. 16, at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame teams up with State Farm and InterSport to present the 18th annual Tip-Off Classic, which has become synonymous with the start of the women’s college basketball season and is the longest-running early-season event on ESPN. This is the fourth appearance for both Baylor and Connecticut in the Classic. In April, the two teams met in the 2010 NCAA Championship Semifinals in San Antonio, in which Connecticut defeated Baylor 70-50.

Three Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductees will be present: Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma (Class of 2006), Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey (Class of 2000) and Baylor assistant coach Leon Barmore (Class of 2003). During halftime, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2011 will be introduced.

The Huskies captured the last two NCAA Division I National Championships and have won 78-straight games to date, 10 short of the UCLA men’s record for consecutive victories in NCAA Division I basketball. UConn returns All-American and National Player of the Year senior Maya Moore, as the Huskies are expected to open the season ranked in the top five.

“We are very excited to be a part of ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon,” Auriemma said. “Baylor is an outstanding team and the ESPN audience, along with the crowd at the XL Center, should be treated to a great game. Once again State Farm has stepped up to help make this possible and I would like to pass along my thanks to them.”

Baylor is coming off a 27-10 season, and the program’s second Final Four appearance. The Bears are also expected to be a top-five team heading into the 2010-11 campaign. Baylor returns All-American Brittney Griner, a sophomore, who set an NCAA blocked shot record as a freshman with 223 rejections and was named the USBWA Freshman of the Year.

“We are so excited to be playing in our fourth State Farm Women’s Tip-Off Classic,” Mulkey said. “It truly should be a classic with Baylor and Connecticut, two 2010 Final Four teams, matching up. I really appreciate State Farm’s continued support of women’s athletics and women’s basketball in particular.”

Moore and Griner, along with Connecticut’s Tiffany Hayes, have been named to the 2010-11 preseason “Wade Watch” list for The State Farm Wade Trophy, given annually to the top women’s basketball player. Moore has won the award in the last two seasons.

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Denise J. Saul is the Founder/President of WSEN-Women's Sports & Entertainment Network.

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