North Carolina is going to the Final Four, and this time it's the women's team.
Tonya Sampson scored 30 points and the No. 4 Tar Heels advanced to the Final Four for the first time by rallying in the second half to defeat No. 3 Connecticut, 81-69, in the East Regional final Saturday at Piscataway, N.J.
North Carolina will play West Regional winner Purdue in the national semifinal next Saturday at Richmond, Va.
"This proves we can play with and beat the best teams," senior center Sylvia Crawley said. "The next two games are just going to be a matter of who wants it more."
The victory was the 12th in a row for the third-seeded Tar Heels (31-2) and it snapped a 21-game winning streak for top-seeded Connecticut (30-3).
No. 16 Alabama 96, No. 2 Penn State 82-- Betsy Harris scored 25 points at Austin, Tex. to lead Alabama (26-6), which will meet Louisiana Tech. Helen Holloway led Penn State (28-3) with 25 points.