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The 25 finest NCAA girls’s match champs of all time

The 25 best NCAA women's tournament champs of all time


It isn’t straightforward to place collectively an inventory of the best girls’s NCAA Match champions. Every introduced one thing particular to the desk and was worthy of its greatness. And, we’re not simply speaking Tennessee and Connecticut.

This is our rating of the 25 best NCAA girls’s basketball champions.

 

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25. South Carolina (2017)

Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports activities

Paced by 23 factors and 10 rebounds from star A’ja Wilson, South Carolina beat Mississippi State 67-55 to win this system’s first, and up to now solely, nationwide championship. Below the steerage of Daybreak Staley, one of the crucial revered coaches in all of faculty basketball, the Gamecocks completed 33-4 and received their last 11 video games to cap the historic season. Wilson, the Remaining 4’s Most Excellent Participant, averaged 17.9 factors and seven.8 rebounds that seasons as a junior.

 

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24. Notre Dame (2001)

Notre Dame (2001)

Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Images by way of Getty Pictures

This was legendary Irish coach Muffet McGraw’s first of two nationwide championship squads. Ruth Riley, the nationwide participant of the 12 months who averaged 18.7 factors, 7.8 rebounds, and stays probably the greatest defenders within the historical past of the school recreation, was the undisputed star for the 34-2 squad that did must work to beat Purdue within the nationwide title recreation. The 2 energy applications from Indiana went toe-to-toe within the last after the Irish dropped Connecticut by 15 within the semifinals. Notre Dame overcame an early double-digit deficit and Riley tied the sport late, then hit the go-ahead free throws with 5.8 seconds left.

 

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23. Tennessee (1989)

Tennessee (1989)

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The primary dynasty in NCAA girls’s basketball historical past resided in Knoxville, Tenn., underneath late legend Pat Summitt. The Woman Volunteers received their first nationwide title, in considerably shocking style, in 1987, but it surely was this 1988-89 squad that proved there was actually one thing particular happening at Tennessee. This Vols completed 35-2, made a fourth straight Remaining 4 look, and beat fellow powerhouse Auburn 76-60 within the last. Bridgette Gordon, nonetheless thought of among the many greats in girls’s basketball historical past, was the group’s undisputed star.

 

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22. Tennessee (2007)

Tennessee (2007)

Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Images by way of Getty Pictures

This was the primary of Tennessee’s most up-to-date back-to-back profitable title groups. Throughout the common season, the Vols beat the likes of Stanford, Notre Dame, and Connecticut. Although they misplaced three video games previous to the NCAA Match, Pat Summitt’s group stepped up when it mattered most. Led by famous person Candace Parker (19.6 factors per recreation, 9.8 assists per recreation), Tennessee confirmed its mettle by overcoming double-digit deficits to North Carolina within the nationwide semifinals and Rutgers within the nationwide title recreation to win its seventh championship.

 

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21. Baylor (2005)

Baylor (2005)

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The primary of coach Kim Mulkey’s three nationwide title groups at Baylor. In her fifth season as coach, Mulkey, the primary in girls’s school basketball historical past to win a nationwide title as a participant, assistant coach, and head coach, had already turned the Baylor program round by the 2004-05 season. Paced by star Sophia Younger, the Bears went 33-3 however overcame a 15-point semifinal deficit to actual some revenge on LSU from a regular-season loss. They then rolled previous Michigan State 84-62 within the nationwide championship recreation.

 

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20. Connecticut (2015)

Connecticut (2015)

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The primary of many instances we’ll function the Connecticut girls’s basketball program. Below the steerage of coach Geno Auriemma, the Huskies have received 11 nationwide titles getting into the 2021 NCAA Match. This 2014-15 group was the third in UConn’s run of 4 straight championships. Breanna Stewart (17.6 ppg, 7.8 rpg), Kia Nurse, and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis highlighted a gaggle whose solely loss got here at Stanford within the fourth recreation of the season. The Huskies capped the 38-1 marketing campaign with a 63-53 win over Notre Dame. 

 

USC (1984)

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This was the second of USC’s back-to-back national-championship groups — the primary program to ever accomplish that feat. Although the 1982-83 group, which was additionally led by the good Cheryl Miller, went 31-2, it barely obtained by Louisiana Tech within the nationwide title recreation. This Trojans’ squad went 29-4 however took care of a then-budding Tennessee program 72-61 within the championship recreation. Miller’s presence as the very best girls’s participant on the planet and the very fact school basketball’s prime girls’s group hailed simply outdoors Hollywood made for an important story and introduced nationwide consideration to a sport that noticed its reputation beginning to develop.

 

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18. Connecticut (2003)

Connecticut (2003)

Jay L. Clendenin/NCAA Images by way of Getty Pictures

UConn formally turned a dynasty whereas profitable three consecutive nationwide championships from 2002-’04. This 2002-03 group went 37-1, shedding solely to Villanova within the last of the Massive East Match. From there, Diana Taurasi (17.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 4.4 apg) and Co. get right down to enterprise and gutted out their strategy to one other nationwide title. After getting by Texas 71-69 within the nationwide semifinals, the Huskies downed rival Tennessee 73-68 in a much-anticipated title contest.

 

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17. Baylor (2019)

Baylor (2019)

Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports activities

Earlier than the ladies’s NCAA Match resumed in 2020, the Bears sat atop the school basketball world with their third nationwide championship. Baylor completed 37-1, with its solely loss coming to Stanford in December. Paced by forwards Lauren Cox and Kalani Brown, the Bears had a comparatively straightforward run till the Remaining 4, the place it took out Oregon 72-67. Then needed to overcome an damage to star Lauren Cox within the last in opposition to Notre Dame, as Chloe Jackson stepped as much as rating 26 factors within the 82-81 victory.

 

10 of 25

16. Purdue (1999)

Purdue (1999)

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The one group within the storied historical past of the Purdue basketball program to win a nationwide title, the 1998-99 squad misplaced its third recreation of the season, by one level to Stanford, then by no means suffered defeat once more en path to a 34-1 end. Carolyn Peck’s group, led by the star trio of Stephanie White (20.2 ppg), Katie Douglas (14.1 ppg), and Ukari Figgs (16.3 ppg), received every of its NCAA Match video games by no less than 13 factors. The Boilermakers capped their particular season with a 62-45 win over Duke for the nationwide championship.

 

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15. Connecticut (2009)

Connecticut (2009)

Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Images by way of Getty Pictures

The primary of UConn’s back-to-back, undefeated nationwide champions. The Huskies had been an ideal 39-0 due to the play of stars Maya Moore (19.3 ppg, 8.9 rpg), Tina Charles (16.5, 8.9 rpg), and Renee Montgomery. The dominance these Huskies displayed, particularly within the NCAA Match, was fairly spectacular. Their closest margin of victory through the Massive Dance was 19 factors, and so they rolled over Louisville 76-54 within the title contest.

 

12 of 25

14. Connecticut (2000)

Connecticut (2000)

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5 seasons after profitable their first nationwide title, the Huskies returned to the highest of the ladies’s basketball mountain. The roster included legends Sue Fowl (10.9 ppg, 4.3 apg) and Swin Money, with their solely loss in 37 contests coming in opposition to rival Tennessee, 72-71, in February. Do not assume UConn forgot about that defeat. So, when the groups rematched within the nationwide championship recreation, the Huskies rolled to a 71-52 victory.

 

13 of 25

13. Tennessee (2008)

Tennessee (2008)

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Tennessee’s eighth and most up-to-date nationwide title-winning group. Pat Summitt received her 950th recreation throughout a season the place her Vols went 36-2. Nonetheless, they needed to actually work to say the nationwide championship whereas edging LSU 47-46 within the nationwide semifinals. It was a unique story within the title recreation, the place Tennessee rolled to a 64-48 win over Stanford. Candace Parker, in her last collegiate season, averaged 21.3 factors and eight.5 rebounds.

 

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12. Texas Tech (1993)

Texas Tech (1993)

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Led by the good Sheryl Swoopes, Texas Tech loved probably the greatest seasons of any athletic program within the historical past of Texas Tech College. The Purple Raiders went 31-3, capping the season with a memorable 84-82 victory over Ohio State within the nationwide championship contest. Swoopes (28.1 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 4.1 apg, 3.4 steals per recreation), the Remaining 4’s Most Excellent Participant, set a title-game document with 47 factors for one of many nice all-time particular person performances in school basketball historical past.

 

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11. Stanford (1990)

Stanford (1990)

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The Cardinal received two nationwide titles in three years. This was the primary, ending 32-1 in legendary coach Tara VanDerveer’s fifth season in control of this system. Stanford was led by star Jennifer Azzi, the Tennessee lady who got here out west to assist flip this system right into a nationwide energy. As a senior in 1989-90, Azzi averaged 14.7 factors and 6.0 assists and helped the Cardinal beat Auburn 88-81 within the nationwide championship recreation in Knoxville, Tenn., some 20 miles from her hometown. 

 

16 of 25

10. Outdated Dominion (1985)

Old Dominion (1985)

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One of many early applications that helped generate curiosity and recognition for the ladies’s recreation. The Monarchs received two nationwide titles when the very best of ladies’s basketball performed within the Affiliation for Intercollegiate Athletics for Ladies (AIAW), in 1979 and ’80, with stars like Nancy Lieberman and Anne Donovan. In 1984-85, it was the group led by Medina Dixon (16.4 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 3.5 apg) that completed 31-3 to win the fourth NCAA girls’s basketball nationwide championship. Within the first girls’s match that was televised by ESPN, the Woman Monarchs beat Georgia 70-65 for the title.

 

17 of 25

9. Louisiana Tech (1982)

Louisiana Tech (1982)

Louisiana Tech College

Ladies’s school basketball won’t ever cease celebrating the 1981-82 Woman Techsters. The primary group to win the nationwide championship underneath the NCAA. The group truly had two head coaches, longtime boss Sonja Hogg and Corridor of Famer Leon Barmore. Throughout this system’s NCAA championship season, 35-1 Louisiana Tech featured one of many recreation’s greats in Janice Lawrence (14.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and a feisty level guard by the identify of Kim Mulkey

 

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10. Connecticut (2010)

Connecticut (2010)

Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Images by way of Getty Pictures

A 39-0 squad, this was Connecticut’s second of back-to-back undefeated groups. Maya Moore (18.9 ppg, 8.3 rpg) and Tina Charles (18.2 ppg, 9.5 rpg) had been the 2 finest gamers within the nation, with Moore incomes Remaining 4 Most Excellent Participant honors due to a 23-point, 11-rebound effort within the Huskies; 53-47 national-title recreation win — and 78th in a row general — over Stanford.

 

19 of 25

9. Connecticut (1995)

Connecticut (1995)

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There was a brand new child on the town when it got here to applications with nationwide potential. Led by big-time abilities in Rebecca Lobo (17.1 ppg, 9.8 rpg), Jennifer Rizzotti (12.5 ppg, 4.6 apg), Kara Wolters (15.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg), and Nysesha Gross sales (11.4 ppg), UConn went 35-0 to document this system’s first nationwide championship. What made it extra of a press release was that the Huskies capped the particular marketing campaign with a 70-64 title-game victory over Pat Summitt and Tennessee. The torch of dominance within the girls’s got here was not formally handed, however the Volunteers and the remainder of girls’s school basketball had been placed on discover.

 

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8. Connecticut (2014)

Connecticut (2014)

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The second group in school basketball historical past to go 40-0 for a season. Breanna Stewart (19.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 3.1 apg), Stefanie Dolson, and Bria Hartley starred for a squad that didn’t path in a recreation till the Candy 16 and by no means confronted a deficit of greater than seven factors all season. UConn beat fellow perennial powers, Stanford, within the nationwide semifinals, and Notre Dame, within the title recreation, by a mixed 40 factors. Now, that is dominance.

 

Texas (1986)

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Below legendary coach Jody Conradt, the 1985-86 Longhorns turned the primary girls’s group through the NCAA Match period to go undefeated at 34-0. Fran Harris and Clarissa Davis helped Texas full that historic season whereas shining through the NCAA Match. After edging Mississippi within the regional finals, the Longhorns confirmed their dominance with a 90-65 win over Western Kentucky within the nationwide semifinals and 97-81 triumph in opposition to mighty USC to say the championship.

 

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4. Connecticut (2016)

Connecticut (2016)

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Not solely did these 38-0 Huskies cap this system’s nationwide championship 3-peat, however heading into the 2021 match, that is the final UConn group to win all of it. Led by nationwide participant of the 12 months Breanna Stewart, who completed her collegiate profession with 2,676 factors, 1,179 rebounds, 426 assists, and 414 blocks, Moriah Jefferson, Kia Nurse, Morgan Tuck, and freshman Katie Lou Samuelson, UConn rolled to a 38-0 document. The Huskies common margin of victory was practically 40 factors and so they routed Syracuse 82-51 for this system’s eleventh nationwide championship.

 

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3. Baylor (2012)

Baylor (2012)

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This is likely one of the most particular groups in all of faculty basketball — males or girls. Paced by superstars Brittney Griner and Odyssey Sims, these Bears turned the primary group in school hoops historical past to complete a season 40-0. Griner, probably the most dominant school participant on the time, averaged 23.8 factors, 9.5 boards, and 5.2 blocks. Baylor received each recreation within the NCAA Match by no less than 12 factors and capped the historic season with an 80-61 victory over Notre Dame.

 

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2. Tennessee (1998)

Tennessee (1998)

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There are some pundits of the ladies’s recreation, probably throughout the proximity of Knoxville, who really feel that is the very best group within the historical past of the game. With star Chamique Holdsclaw main the best way, Tennessee rolled to a 39-0 document, with simply three groups getting inside 10 factors in any contest. Tamika Catchings (18.2 ppg, 8.0 rpg) and Semeka Randall joined Holdsclaw as All-Individuals that season, which the Vols capped with a stellar 93-75 win over Louisiana Tech to say their third straight nationwide title.

 

25 of 25

1. Connecticut (2002)

Connecticut (2002)

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With a beginning lineup of Sue Fowl (14.4 ppg), Diana Taurasi (14.5 ppg), Swin Money (14.9 ppg), Asjha Jones, and Tamika Williams, it was hardly a shock these Huskies went 39-0. UConn twice beat fellow nationwide powerhouse Tennessee — every time by double digits through the season — and most noteworthy with a 79-56 rout within the nationwide semifinals. UConn concluded one of many nice seasons in school basketball historical past with an 82-70 victory over Oklahoma for the nationwide championship.

Jeff Mezydlo has written about sports activities and leisure on-line and for print for greater than 25 years. He grew up within the far south suburbs of Chicago, 20 minutes from the Mascot Corridor of Fame in Whiting, Ind. He’s additionally the proud father of 11-year-old Matthew, aka “Bobby Bruin,” mascot of St. Robert Bellarmine Faculty in Chicago. You possibly can comply with Jeff at @jeffm401.



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