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A Big Year for Women’s College Basketball in New York

Good morning. It’s Friday. We’ll look at why this season was a first for women’s college basketball in New York City. We’ll also find out how LaGuardia Community College will spend a $116.2 million grant from a foundation run by Alexandra Cohen, whose billionaire husband bought the New York Mets in 2020.

Credit…Ryan Hunt/Getty Images

This was the first season that Columbia University’s women’s basketball team made it to the N.C.A.A. Division I tournament.

New York University’s women’s team, undefeated in 31 games, also made it to the postseason, making this the first year that the two colleges have done so at the same time — Columbia in Division I, with an at-large place in the Big Dance, and N.Y.U. in Division III. N.Y.U. won the national title in Division III by ending Smith College’s 16-game winning streak, 51-41.

“We kind of pulled away in the end, and one of the officials congratulated me on winning,” said Meg Barber, the coach of the N.Y.U. team. “This was probably with about 45 seconds left. I said, ‘Not yet.’ I was like, ‘It’s not over yet,’ and he was like, ‘Yes it is.’”

And next season?

“I’ve barely processed that we won the national championship,” Barber told me on Thursday, “so I haven’t really thought about next year.”

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