NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship


NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship
NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship
Current season or competition:
2012 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament
Sport Basketball
Founded 1982
No. of teams 64
Country(ies) NCAA Division I (USA)
Most recent champion(s) Texas A&M
TV partner(s) ESPN (Championship game)
Official website NCAA.com

The NCAA Women's Division I Championship is an annual college basketball tournament for women. Held each April, the Women's Championship was inaugurated in the 1981–82 season. The NCAA tournament was preceded by the AIAW Women's Basketball Tournament, which was held annually from 1972 to 1982.

Attendance and interest have grown over the years, especially since 2003, when the final championship game was moved to the Tuesday following the Monday men's championship game.[citation needed] The women's championship game is now the final overall game of the college basketball season.

The tournament bracket is made up of champions from each Division I conference, which receive automatic bids. The remaining slots are at-large bids, with teams chosen by an NCAA selection committee. The selection process and tournament seedings are based on several factors, including team rankings, win-loss records and Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) data.

Unlike the men's tournament, there are only 33 at-large bids, and no play-in game. The women's tournament, like the men's, is staged in a single elimination format, and is part of the media and public frenzy known colloquially as March Madness or The Big Dance.

All 63 games have been broadcast on television since 2003 on ESPN and ESPN2. Similar to the pre-2011 men's tournament coverage on CBS, local teams are shown on each channel when available, with "whip-around" coverage designed to showcase the most competitive contests in the rest of the country.

Contents

Tournament format

A total of 64 teams qualify for the tournament played in March and April. 30 of the 64 teams earn automatic bids by winning their respective conference tournaments. Since the Ivy League does not conduct a post-season tournament, the regular-season conference champion receives an automatic bid. The remaining teams are granted "at-large" bids, which are extended by the NCAA Selection Committee. Dr. Marilyn McNeil, vice president/director of athletics at Monmouth University is the current chairwoman. On March 1, 2011, Bowling Green State University's director of intercollegiate athletics, Greg Christopher, was appointed chair of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee during the 2011–12 academic year.

The tournament is split into four regional tournaments, and each regional has teams seeded from 1 to 16, with the committee ostensibly making every region as comparable to the others as possible[citation needed]. The top-seeded team in each region plays the #16 team, the #2 team plays the #15, etc.

Number of teams, and seeding

The first NCAA women's basketball tournament was held in 1982. The AIAW also held a basketball tournament in 1982, but most of the top teams, including defending AIAW champion Louisiana Tech, decided to participate in the NCAA tournament.

The championship consisted of 32 teams from 1982–1985, 40 teams from 1986–1988, and 48 teams from 1989–1993. Since 1994 64 teams compete in each tournament.

Prior to 1996, seeding was conducted on a regional basis. The top teams (eight in the 32-, 40-, and 48-team formats, and 16 in the 64-team format) were ranked and seeded on a national basis. The remaining teams were then seeded based on their geographic region. Teams were moved outside of its geographic region only if it was necessary to balance the bracket, or if the proximity of an opponent outside of its region would be comparable and a more competitive game would result. In 1993, the all teams except for the top four were explicitly unseeded. The regional seeding resumed in 1994. In 1996, seeds were assigned on a national basis using an "S-Curve" format[clarification needed] similar to the process used in selecting the field for the men's tournament.

Selection process

A special selection committee appointed by the NCAA determines which 64 teams will enter the tournament, and where they will be seeded and placed in the bracket. Because of the automatic bids, only 33 teams (the at-large bids) rely on the selection committee to secure them a spot in the tournament.

Tournament trends

Top-ranked teams

Since the women's tournament began in 1982, 13 teams have entered the tournament ranked #1 in at least 1 poll and gone on to win the tournament:

  • 1982: Louisiana Tech
  • 1983: USC
  • 1986: Texas
  • 1988: Tennessee
  • 1989: Tennessee
  • 1995: Connecticut
  • 1998: Tennessee
  • 1999: Purdue
  • 2000: Connecticut
  • 2002: Connecticut
  • 2003: Connecticut
  • 2009: Connecticut
  • 2010: Connecticut

#1 seeds

Since 1982, only once have all #1 seeds made it to the Final Four:

  • 1989 Auburn, Louisiana Tech, Maryland, Tennessee

The championship game has matched two #1 seeds nine times:

  • 1983 USC defeated Louisiana Tech
  • 1986 Texas defeated USC
  • 1989 Tennessee defeated Auburn
  • 1991 Tennessee defeated Virginia
  • 1995 Connecticut defeated Tennessee
  • 2000 Connecticut defeated Tennessee
  • 2002 Connecticut defeated Oklahoma
  • 2003 Connecticut defeated Tennessee
  • 2010 Connecticut defeated Stanford

At least one #1 seed has made the Final Four every year.

Three teams have beaten three #1 seeds during the course of a tournament (the largest number of such teams that can be faced):

  • 1987 Tennessee (beat Auburn, Long Beach State, Louisiana Tech)
  • 1988 Louisiana Tech (beat Auburn, Tennessee, Texas)
  • 2005 Baylor (beat LSU, Michigan State, North Carolina)

Prior to the expansion of the tournament to 64 teams, all #1 seeds advanced to the Sweet Sixteen with three exceptions. Notably, the first two times this occurred were at the hands of the same school:

  • 1986 East #1 seed Virginia lost to #8 seed James Madison
  • 1991 East #1 seed Penn State lost to #8 seed James Madison
  • 1992 Midwest #1 seed Iowa lost to #8 seed Southwest Missouri State

High seeds

  • 1999 was the first time in tournament history (since the expansion to 64 teams) that all top seeds (1, 2, 3, and 4 seeds) made it to the Sweet Sixteen.

Low seeds

Lowest seeds to reach each round since the expansion to 64 teams:

  • Second Round: #16 seed
    • Harvard in 1998 (the only #16 seed to defeat a #1 seed in either the women's or men's tournament)
  • Regional Semifinals (Sweet Sixteen): #13 seed
  • Regional Finals (Elite Eight): #11 seed
  • National Semifinals (Final Four): #9 seed
  • National Finals (Championship Game): #4 seed
    • Louisiana Tech in 1994
    • Rutgers in 2007
  • National Champion: #3 seed
    • North Carolina in 1994

First-round games

Since the expansion to 64 teams only one #16 seed has defeated a #1 seed (while the men's tournament has none):

  • Stanford lost to Harvard in 1998 (4 points, 71–67)

Unlike in the men's tournament, no #14 or #15 seeds have made it to the Second Round of the women's tournament.

Since the expansion to 64 teams in 1994, each seed-pairing has played a total of 72 first round games.

  1. The #1 seed is 71–1 against the #16 seed (98.61%).
  2. The #2 seed is 72–0 against the #15 seed (100%).
  3. The #3 seed is 72–0 against the #14 seed (100%).
  4. The #4 seed is 67–5 against the #13 seed (93.06%).
  5. The #5 seed is 56–16 against the #12 seed (77.78%).
  6. The #6 seed is 51–21 against the #11 seed (70.83%).
  7. The #7 seed is 47–25 against the #10 seed (65.28%).
  8. The #8 seed is 34–38 against the #9 seed (47.22%).

Second-round games

Since the expansion to 64 teams in 1994, the following results have occurred for each pairing:

  • In the 1/16/8/9 bracket:
vs. #8 vs. #9
#1 32–1 (.970) 32–2 (.941)
#16 0–1 (.000)
  • In the 2/15/7/10 bracket:
vs. #7 vs. #10
#2 36–9 (.800) 21–2 (.913)
#15
  • In the 3/14/6/11 bracket:
vs. #6 vs. #11
#3 34–14 (.708) 14–6 (.700)
#14
  • In the 4/13/5/12 bracket:
vs. #5 vs. #12
#4 30–17 (.638) 15–1 (.938)
#13 3–2 (.600)

Teams entering the tournament undefeated

  • In 1986, Texas entered the tournament 30–0, won the national title, and ended the season 34–0.
  • In 1990, Louisiana Tech entered the tournament 29–0, but lost in the Final Four to Auburn.
  • In 1992, Vermont entered the tournament 29–0, but lost in the first round to George Washington.
  • In 1993, Vermont entered the tournament 28–0, but lost in the first round to Rutgers.
  • In 1995, Connecticut entered the tournament 29–0, won the national title, and ended the season 35–0.
  • In 1997, Connecticut entered the tournament 30–0, but lost in the Midwest Regional final to Tennessee.
  • In 1998, Tennessee (33–0) and Liberty (28–0) each entered the tournament undefeated. Liberty lost in the first round to Tennessee. Tennessee won the national title and ended the season 39–0.
  • In 2002, Connecticut entered the tournament 33–0, won the national title, and ended the season 39–0.
  • In 2009, Connecticut entered the tournament 33–0, won the national title, and ended the season 39–0.
  • In 2010, Connecticut entered the tournament 33–0, won the national title, and ended the season 39–0.

Home state

Only one team has ever played the Final Four on its home court. One other team has played in its home city, and seven others have played the Final Four in their home states.

The only team to play on its home court was Texas in 1987, which lost its semifinal game at the Frank Erwin Special Events Center.

Old Dominion enjoyed nearly as large an advantage in 1983 when the Final Four was played at the Norfolk Scope in its home city of Norfolk, Virginia, but also lost its semifinal. The Scope has never been the Lady Monarchs' regular home court. ODU has always used on-campus arenas, first the ODU Fieldhouse and since 2002 the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

Of the other teams to play in their home states, USC (1984) won the national title; Notre Dame (2011) lost in the championship game; and Western Kentucky (1986), Penn State (2000), Missouri State (2001), LSU (2004), and Baylor (2010) lost in the semifinals.

Championship margins

  • Overtime games in a championship game:
    • Tennessee 70, Virginia 67/OT (1991)
    • Maryland 78, Duke 75/OT (2006)
  • Smallest margin of victory in a championship game: 1 point
    • North Carolina 60, Louisiana Tech 59 (1994)
  • Biggest margin of victory in a championship game: 23 points
    • Tennessee 67, Louisiana Tech 44 (1987)
  • Margin of 10 points: Louisiana Tech (1982), Tennessee (1987 & 1989), Purdue (1999), and Connecticut (2000, 2002, & 2009) are teams to win every game in the tournament by 10 points or more on their way to a championship.

Same-conference championship games

4 championship games have featured two teams from the same conference:

  • 1989 SEC, Tennessee and Auburn
  • 1996 SEC, Tennessee and Georgia
  • 2006 ACC, Maryland and Duke
  • 2009 Big East, Connecticut and Louisville

Women's NCAA Division I basketball champions

Year Winner Score Opponent Venue Other Finalists
1982 Louisiana Tech 76–62 Cheyney State Norfolk Scope (Norfolk, Virginia) Tennessee & Maryland
1983 USC 69–67 Louisiana Tech Norfolk Scope (Norfolk, Virginia) Old Dominion & Georgia
1984 USC 72–61 Tennessee Pauley Pavilion (Los Angeles, California) Cheyney State & Louisiana Tech
1985 Old Dominion 70–65 Georgia Frank Erwin Center (Austin, Texas) Western Kentucky & Northeast Louisiana
1986 Texas 97–81 USC Rupp Arena (Lexington, Kentucky) Western Kentucky & Tennessee
1987 Tennessee 67–44 Louisiana Tech Frank Erwin Center (Austin, Texas) Texas & Long Beach State
1988 Louisiana Tech 56–54 Auburn Tacoma Dome (Tacoma, Washington) Long Beach State & Tennessee
1989 Tennessee 76–70 Auburn Tacoma Dome (Tacoma, Washington) Louisiana Tech & Maryland
1990 Stanford 88–81 Auburn Thompson–Boling Arena (Knoxville, Tennessee) Virginia & Louisiana Tech
1991 Tennessee 70–67 (OT) Virginia Lakefront Arena (New Orleans, Louisiana) Connecticut & Stanford
1992 Stanford 78–62 Western Kentucky Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena (Los Angeles, California) Southwest Missouri State & Virginia
1993 Texas Tech 84–82 Ohio State Omni Coliseum (Atlanta, Georgia) Iowa & Vanderbilt
1994 North Carolina 60–59 Louisiana Tech Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, Virginia) Purdue & Alabama
1995 Connecticut 70–64 Tennessee Target Center (Minneapolis, Minnesota) Stanford & Georgia
1996 Tennessee 83–65 Georgia Charlotte Coliseum (Charlotte, North Carolina) Connecticut & Stanford
1997 Tennessee 68–59 Old Dominion Riverfront Coliseum (Cincinnati, Ohio) Notre Dame & Stanford
1998 Tennessee 93–75 Louisiana Tech Kemper Arena (Kansas City, Missouri) Arkansas & NC State
1999 Purdue 62–45 Duke San Jose Arena (San Jose, California) Louisiana Tech & Georgia
2000 Connecticut 71–52 Tennessee First Union Center (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) Rutgers & Penn St.
2001 Notre Dame 68–66 Purdue Savvis Center (St. Louis, Missouri) Connecticut & SW Missouri St
2002 Connecticut 82–70 Oklahoma Alamodome (San Antonio, Texas) Tennessee & Duke
2003 Connecticut 73–68 Tennessee Georgia Dome (Atlanta, Georgia) Texas & Duke
2004 Connecticut 70–61 Tennessee New Orleans Arena (New Orleans, Louisiana) Minnesota & LSU
2005 Baylor 84–62 Michigan State RCA Dome (Indianapolis, Indiana) LSU & Tennessee
2006 Maryland 78–75 (OT) Duke TD Banknorth Garden (Boston, Massachusetts) North Carolina & LSU
2007 Tennessee 59–46 Rutgers Quicken Loans Arena (Cleveland, Ohio) North Carolina & LSU
2008 Tennessee 64–48 Stanford St. Pete Times Forum (Tampa, Florida) LSU & Connecticut
2009 Connecticut 76–54 Louisville Scottrade Center (St. Louis, Missouri) Stanford & Oklahoma
2010 Connecticut 53–47 Stanford Alamodome (San Antonio, Texas) Baylor & Oklahoma
2011 Texas A&M 76–70 Notre Dame Conseco Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Indiana) Connecticut & Stanford
2012 Pepsi Center (Denver, Colorado)
2013 New Orleans Arena (New Orleans, Louisiana)
2014 Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, Tennessee)
2015 St. Pete Times Forum (Tampa, Florida)
2016 Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis, Indiana)

NCAA Championship Game Appearance By School

School NCAA Finals Appearance *Championships Runner Up
Tennessee 1984, *1987, *1989, *1991, 1995, *1996, *1997, *1998, 2000, 2003, 2004, *2007, *2008 8 5
Connecticut *1995, *2000, *2002, *2003, *2004, *2009, *2010 7 0
Louisiana Tech *1982, 1983, 1987, *1988, 1994, 1998 2 4
Stanford *1990, *1992, 2008, 2010 2 2
USC *1983, *1984, 1986 2 1
Auburn 1988, 1989, 1990 0 3
Notre Dame *2001, 2011 1 1
Purdue *1999, 2001 1 1
Old Dominion *1985, 1997 1 1
Duke 1999, 2006 0 2
Georgia 1985, 1996 0 2
Texas A&M *2011 1 0
Maryland *2006 1 0
Baylor *2005 1 0
North Carolina *1994 1 0
Texas Tech *1993 1 0
Texas *1986 1 0
Louisville 2009 0 1
Rutgers 2007 0 1
Michigan State 2005 0 1
Oklahoma 2002 0 1
Ohio State 1993 0 1
Western Kentucky 1992 0 1
Virginia 1991 0 1
Cheyney State 1982 0 1

NCAA Final Fours by school

School Final Four Years Number of Appearances Championships
Tennessee 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 18 8
Connecticut 1991, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 12 7
Louisiana Tech 1982, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1994, 1998, 1999 10 2
Stanford 1990, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 10 2
Georgia 1983, 1985, 1995, 1996, 1999 5 0
LSU 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 5 0
Duke 1999, 2002, 2003, 2006 4 0
Auburn 1988, 1989, 1990 3 0
Maryland 1982, 1989, 2006 3 1
North Carolina 1994, 2006, 2007 3 1
Notre Dame 1997, 2001, 2011 3 1
Oklahoma 2002, 2009, 2010 3 0
Old Dominion 1983, 1986, 1997 3 1
Purdue 1994, 1999, 2001 3 1
Texas 1986, 1987, 2003 3 1
USC 1983, 1984, 1986 3 2
Virginia 1990, 1991, 1992 3 0
Western Kentucky 1985, 1986, 1992 3 0
Baylor 2005, 2010 2 1
Cheyney St. 1982, 1984 2 0
Long Beach St. 1987, 1988 2 0
Missouri St. 1992, 2001 2 0
Rutgers 2000, 2007 2 0
Alabama 1994 1 0
Arkansas 1998 1 0
Iowa 1993 1 0
Louisiana-Monroe 1985 1 0
Louisville 2009 1 0
Michigan St. 2005 1 0
Minnesota 2004 1 0
NC State 1998 1 0
Ohio St. 1993 1 0
Penn St. 2000 1 0
Texas A&M 2011 1 1
Texas Tech 1993 1 1
Vanderbilt 1993 1 0

Multiple NCAA championship coaches

Coach School Championships
Pat Summitt Tennessee 8
Geno Auriemma Connecticut 7
Tara VanDerveer Stanford 2
Linda Sharp USC 2

See also

References


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