Although the annual women's basketball showdown between Connecticut and Tennessee is no more after Volunteers coach Pat Summitt canceled the series, there are still matchups in the sport that are almost as big.

One came last night when No. 4 North Carolina lost to top-ranked Tennessee, 83-79, in Knoxville, Tenn.

Another marquee matchup will come tonight when No. 5 Rutgers (4-1) plays host to No. 3 Maryland (10-0) in the Jimmy V Classic matchup. It will be the first meeting between the Scarlet Knights and Terrapins since 1998. The Knights also recently hosted No. 6 Stanford and No. 8 LSU.

All of these teams are considered Final Four contenders; Maryland and Rutgers could easily meet again in Tampa, Fla., in April.

The Terrapins won their first NCAA championship in 2006, and the Scarlet Knights advanced to their first NCAA title game in April.

Willingboro High's Crystal Langhorne recently returned to the Terrapins' lineup after suffering an ankle injury. The senior center is two rebounds short of tying Maryland's career record of 968 set by Vicky Bullet in 1989.

Senior forward Laura Harper of Cheltenham High reached 1,000 career points last week. The Terps' Kristi Toliver is another backcourt all-American candidate.

Rutgers, meanwhile, is paced by junior forward Kia Vaughn and seniors Essence Carson and Matee Ajavon.

Carson will play after being held out of Wednesday's narrow escape from St. Joseph's because of a hip flexor.

Yesterday's games

Tennessee 83, North Carolina 79 -

Alexis Hornbuckle sank two free throws with 13.8 seconds remaining to seal the No. 1 Volunteers' (6-0) win over the No. 4 Tar Heels (9-1) in Knoxville.

Penn State 86, Duke 84 - Brianne O'Rourke scored 23 points and set up Janessa Wolf's game-winning layup after a frantic full-court drive to help the Nittany Lions (6-2) upset the No. 11 Blue Devils (5-3) in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge in State College, Pa.

Stanford 62, California-Davis 41 - Candice Wiggins scored 19 points in Stanford, Calif., as the sixth-ranked Cardinal (7-1) beat the Aggies (5-1).

Georgia 71, Georgia Tech 64 - The No. 7 Bulldogs (8-0) overcame 23 turnovers to beat the Yellow Jackets (5-1) in Athens, Ga.

LSU 52, Tulane 36 - Sylvia Fowles scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to help the No. 8 Tigers (6-2) cruise to an easy win over the Green Wave (6-2) in New Orleans.

Oklahoma 93, Arkansas State 36 - Courtney Paris had 22 points and 15 rebounds for her 67th straight double-double as the No. 9 Sooners (4-2) routed the Indians (4-4) in Norman, Okla.

In the region

St. Joseph's 65, Brown 54 -

The Hawks (5-2) won the Brown Classic in Providence, R.I., over the host Bears (1-8).

Edinboro 72, West Chester 69 - Janelle Garber had 14 points and 15 rebounds for the host Golden Rams (5-1) as the Fightin' Scots (3-1) won.

Contact staff writer Mel Greenberg at 215-854-5725 or mgreenberg@phillynews.com.