NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament

The NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament is an annual college basketball tournament for women. Held each March, 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. Basketball was one of 12 women's sports added to the NCAA championship program for the 1981–82 school year, as the NCAA engaged in battle with the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) for sole governance of women's collegiate sports. The AIAW continued to conduct its established championship program in the same 12 (and other) sports; however, after a year of dual women's championships, the NCAA prevailed, while the AIAW disbanded.

NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament
Most recent season or competition:
2019 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament
SportBasketball
Founded1982
No. of teams64
CountryNCAA Division I (USA)
Most recent
champion(s)
Baylor (3rd)
Most titlesUConn (11)
TV partner(s)ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, WatchESPN
Official websiteNCAA.com

Attendance and interest in the Women's Division I Championship have grown over the years, especially from 2003 to 2016, when the final championship game was moved to the Tuesday following the Monday men's championship game.[1] The women's championship game is the penultimate overall game of the college basketball season since 2017. From 1982 to 1990, 1996 to 2002, and since 2017 the Women's Final Four is usually played on the Friday before the Men's Final Four or the hours before the men played on the final Saturday of the tournament. The final was usually played the Sunday afternoon following the Men's Final Four; since 2017, Sunday evening.

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 32 at-large bids (since 2014), 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.[2] 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.

All tournaments, since 1987, conclude with the song One Shining Moment, performed by Luther Vandross.

Tournament format

A total of 64 teams qualify for the tournament played in March and April. Of these teams, 32 earn automatic bids by winning their respective conference tournaments. Since 2017 the Ivy League conducts their own post-season tournament. 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.[3]

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. 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 (in 1983, 36), 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, 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 similar to the process used in selecting the field for the men's tournament.

The following table summarizes some of the key attributes of the seeding process:[4]

  Number of teams selected    
Year Automatic At-Large Total Location of first round(s) Seeding Basis
1982 12 20 32 Higher seed Regional
1983 14 22 36 Higher seed†
1984 17 15 32
1985 18 14 Higher seed
1986 17 23 40 Higher seed†
1987 18 22
1988
1989 19 29 48
1990 21 27
1991
1992 22 26
1993 23 25
1994 32 32 64
1995
1996 31 33 Higher seed National
1997 30 34 Higher seed†
1998 Higher seed
1999
2000 Higher seed†
2001 31 33
2002 Higher seed
2003 16 Sites‡
2004
2005 8 Sites‡
2006
2007
2008
2009 16 Sites‡
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014 32
2015 Higher seed†
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020

† Some exceptions. Due to venue availability, in some cases, the lower seed hosted, or the game was played at a neutral site.
‡ From 2003–2014, sixteen predetermined sites were selected for first and second-round games. Teams were allowed to play at home, if hosting.
Between 2005 and 2008, eight sites were used for first-round games.

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 32 teams (the at-large bids) rely on the selection committee to secure them a spot in the tournament.

Women's NCAA Division I basketball champions

Year Winner Score Opponent Venue Other Semifinalists
1982 Louisiana Tech (1/2) 76–62 Cheyney State Norfolk Scope (Norfolk, Virginia) Tennessee & Maryland
1983 USC (1/2) 69–67 Louisiana Tech Old Dominion & Georgia
1984 USC (2/2) 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 (1/8) 67–44 Louisiana Tech Frank Erwin Center (Austin, Texas) Texas & Long Beach State
1988 Louisiana Tech (2/2) 56–54 Auburn Tacoma Dome (Tacoma, Washington) Long Beach State & Tennessee
1989 Tennessee (2/8) 76–60 Auburn Louisiana Tech & Maryland
1990 Stanford (1/2) 88–81 Auburn Thompson–Boling Arena (Knoxville, Tennessee) Virginia & Louisiana Tech
1991 Tennessee (3/8) 70–67 (OT) Virginia Lakefront Arena (New Orleans, Louisiana) Connecticut & Stanford
1992 Stanford (2/2) 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 (1/11) 70–64 Tennessee Target Center (Minneapolis, Minnesota) Stanford & Georgia
1996 Tennessee (4/8) 83–65 Georgia Charlotte Coliseum (Charlotte, North Carolina) Connecticut & Stanford
1997 Tennessee (5/8) 68–59 Old Dominion Riverfront Coliseum (Cincinnati, Ohio) Notre Dame & Stanford
1998 Tennessee (6/8) 93–75 Louisiana Tech Kemper Arena (Kansas City, Missouri) Arkansas & North Carolina State
1999 Purdue 62–45 Duke San Jose Arena (San Jose, California) Louisiana Tech & Georgia
2000 Connecticut (2/11) 71–52 Tennessee First Union Center (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) Rutgers & Penn State
2001 Notre Dame (1/2) 68–66 Purdue Savvis Center (St. Louis, Missouri) Connecticut & Southwest Missouri State
2002 Connecticut (3/11) 82–70 Oklahoma Alamodome (San Antonio, Texas) Tennessee & Duke
2003 Connecticut (4/11) 73–68 Tennessee Georgia Dome (Atlanta, Georgia) Texas & Duke
2004 Connecticut (5/11) 70–61 Tennessee New Orleans Arena (New Orleans, Louisiana) Minnesota & LSU
2005 Baylor (1/3) 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 (7/8) 59–46 Rutgers Quicken Loans Arena (Cleveland, Ohio)
2008 Tennessee (8/8) 64–48 Stanford St. Pete Times Forum (Tampa, Florida) LSU & Connecticut
2009 Connecticut (6/11) 76–54 Louisville Scottrade Center (St. Louis, Missouri) Stanford & Oklahoma
2010 Connecticut (7/11) 53–47 Stanford Alamodome (San Antonio, Texas) Baylor & Oklahoma
2011 Texas A&M 76–70 Notre Dame Conseco Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Indiana) Connecticut & Stanford
2012 Baylor (2/3) 80–61 Notre Dame Pepsi Center (Denver, Colorado) Stanford & Connecticut
2013 Connecticut (8/11) 93–60 Louisville New Orleans Arena (New Orleans, Louisiana) Notre Dame & California
2014 Connecticut (9/11) 79–58 Notre Dame Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, Tennessee) Stanford & Maryland
2015 Connecticut (10/11) 63–53 Notre Dame Amalie Arena (Tampa, Florida) South Carolina & Maryland
2016 Connecticut (11/11) 82–51 Syracuse Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Indiana) Oregon State & Washington
2017 South Carolina 67–55 Mississippi State American Airlines Center (Dallas, Texas) Connecticut & Stanford
2018 Notre Dame (2/2) 61–58 Mississippi State Nationwide Arena (Columbus, Ohio) Connecticut & Louisville
2019 Baylor (3/3) 82–81 Notre Dame Amalie Arena (Tampa, Florida) Connecticut & Oregon
2020 Smoothie King Center (New Orleans, Louisiana)
2021 Alamodome (San Antonio, Texas)
2022 Target Center (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
2023 American Airlines Center (Dallas, Texas)
2024 Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse (Cleveland, Ohio)

Team titles

Baylor
UConn
Louisiana Tech
Maryland
North
Carolina
Notre
Dame
Old Dominion
Purdue
South
Carolina
Stanford
Tennessee
Texas
Texas
A&M
Texas
Tech
USC
Schools who have won the NCAA Championship
– 11 championships
– 8 championships
– 3 championships
– 2 championships
– 1 championship
Team Titles Year Won
UConn 11 1995, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Tennessee 8 1987, 1989, 1991,1996, 1997, 1998, 2007, 2008
Baylor 3 2005, 2012, 2019
Louisiana Tech 2 1982, 1988
Notre Dame 2 2001, 2018
Stanford 2 1990, 1992
USC 2 1983, 1984
Maryland 1 2006
North Carolina 1 1994
Old Dominion 1 1985
Purdue 1 1999
South Carolina 1 2017
Texas 1 1986
Texas A&M 1 2011
Texas Tech 1 1993

NCAA Final Fours by school

School Final Four Years Number of Appearances Championships
UConn 1991, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 20 11
Tennessee 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 18 8
Stanford 1990, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2017 13 2
Louisiana Tech 1982, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1994, 1998, 1999 10 2
Notre Dame 1997, 2001, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019 9 2
Georgia 1983, 1985, 1995, 1996, 1999 5 0
LSU 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 5 0
Maryland 1982, 1989, 2006, 2014, 2015 5 1
Baylor 2005, 2010, 2012, 2019 4 3
Duke 1999, 2002, 2003, 2006 4 0
Auburn 1988, 1989, 1990 3 0
Louisville 2009, 2013, 2018 3 0
North Carolina 1994, 2006, 2007 3 1
Oklahoma 2002, 2009, 2010 3 0
Old Dominion 1983, 1985, 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
Cheyney St. 1982, 1984 2 0
Long Beach St. 1987, 1988 2 0
Mississippi St. 2017, 2018 2 0
Missouri St. 1992, 2001 2 0
Rutgers 2000, 2007 2 0
South Carolina 2015, 2017 2 1
Alabama 1994 1 0
Arkansas 1998 1 0
California 2013 1 0
Iowa 1993 1 0
Louisiana–Monroe 1985 1 0
Michigan St. 2005 1 0
Minnesota 2004 1 0
North Carolina St. 1998 1 0
Ohio St. 1993 1 0
Oregon 2019 1 0
Oregon St. 2016 1 0
Penn St. 2000 1 0
Syracuse 2016 1 0
Texas A&M 2011 1 1
Texas Tech 1993 1 1
Vanderbilt 1993 1 0
Washington 2016 1 0

Multiple NCAA championship coaches

Coach School Championships
Geno Auriemma UConn 11
Pat Summitt Tennessee 8
Kim Mulkey Baylor 3
Muffet McGraw Notre Dame 2
Linda Sharp USC
Tara VanDerveer Stanford

NCAA Championship by Conference

Note: Conferences are listed by all champions' affiliations at that time; these do not necessarily match current affiliations.

Conference Year Championships
Big East[a 1] 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2013 9
Southeastern 1987, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2007, 2008, 2017
Big 12 2005, 2011, 2012, 2019 4
Pac-12[a 2] 1983, 1984, 1990, 1992
American Athletic 2014, 2015, 2016 3
Atlantic Coast 1994, 2006, 2018
Southwest 1986, 1993 2
Western Collegiate 1983, 1984
American South 1988 1
Big Ten 1999
Independent 1982
Sun Belt 1985
  1. The Big East Conference operated in its original form from 1979 until 2013. During that time, UConn won eight championships, and Notre Dame won one. Following the three-way 2013 split of that conference and subsequent settlement between the non-FBS schools and the remaining schools, the conference legally changed its name to the American Athletic Conference. Three schools (among them Notre Dame) left for the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013, with a fourth doing the same in 2014; one school left for the Big Ten in 2014; and the non-FBS schools retained the Big East name. However, the current Big East now maintains the history of the original conference in all sports that it sponsors, including women's basketball. The American no longer claims any of the original Big East's competitive history, even in the two sports that it sponsors and the current Big East does not (football and women's rowing).
  2. Known as the Pacific-10 Conference, or Pac-10, when all of its titles were won.

NCAA Final Four locations

  • 1982 – Norfolk, Virginia
  • 1983 – Norfolk, Virginia
  • 1984 – Los Angeles, California
  • 1985 – Austin, Texas
  • 1986 – Lexington, Kentucky
  • 1987 – Austin, Texas
  • 1988 – Tacoma, Washington
  • 1989 – Tacoma, Washington
  • 1990 – Knoxville, Tennessee
  • 1991 – New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1992 – Los Angeles, California
  • 1993 – Atlanta, Georgia
  • 1994 – Richmond, Virginia
  • 1995 – Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • 1996 – Charlotte, North Carolina
  • 1997 – Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 1998 – Kansas City, Missouri
  • 1999 – San Jose, California
  • 2000 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 2001 – St. Louis, Missouri
  • 2002 – San Antonio, Texas
  • 2003 – Atlanta, Georgia
  • 2004 – New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 2005 – Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 2006 – Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2007 – Cleveland, Ohio
  • 2008 – Tampa Bay, Florida
  • 2009 – St. Louis, Missouri
  • 2010 – San Antonio, Texas
  • 2011 – Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 2012 – Denver, Colorado
  • 2013 – New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 2014 – Nashville, Tennessee
  • 2015 – Tampa Bay, Florida
  • 2016 – Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 2017 – Dallas, Texas
  • 2018 – Columbus, Ohio
  • 2019 – Tampa Bay, Florida
  • 2020 – New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 2021 – San Antonio, Texas
  • 2022 – Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • 2023 – Dallas, Texas
  • 2024 – Cleveland, Ohio
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NCAA Final Four locations (hover over city to see arena)

Top-ranked teams

Since the women's tournament began in 1982, 17 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
  • 1989: Tennessee
  • 1995: Connecticut
  • 1998: Tennessee
  • 1999: Purdue
  • 2000: Connecticut
  • 2002: Connecticut
  • 2003: Connecticut
  • 2009: Connecticut
  • 2010: Connecticut
  • 2012: Baylor
  • 2014: Connecticut
  • 2015: Connecticut
  • 2016: Connecticut
  • 2019: Baylor

Champions excluded the next year

Only once has the reigning champion (the previous year's winner) not made it to the tournament the next year.

#1 seeds

Since 1982, at least one #1 seed has made the Final Four every year.

Under coach Geno Auriemma, Connecticut has been seeded #1 a record 22 times. Tennessee is second with 21 #1 seeds.

All four #1 seeds have made it to the Final Four 4 times (champion in bold):

  • 1989 Auburn, Louisiana Tech, Maryland, Tennessee
  • 2012 Baylor, Connecticut, Notre Dame, Stanford
  • 2015 Connecticut, Maryland, Notre Dame, South Carolina
  • 2018 Connecticut, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Louisville

The championship game has matched two #1 seeds 14 times:

  • 1983 USC beat Louisiana Tech
  • 1986 Texas beat USC
  • 1989 Tennessee beat Auburn
  • 1991 Tennessee beat Virginia
  • 1995 Connecticut beat Tennessee
  • 2000 Connecticut beat Tennessee
  • 2002 Connecticut beat Oklahoma
  • 2003 Connecticut beat Tennessee
  • 2010 Connecticut beat Stanford
  • 2012 Baylor beat Notre Dame
  • 2014 Connecticut beat Notre Dame
  • 2015 Connecticut beat Notre Dame
  • 2018 Notre Dame beat Mississippi State
  • 2019 Baylor beat Notre Dame

Three teams have beaten three #1 seeds during the course of a tournament (the largest number of such teams that can be faced) (all three teams won the national championship as beating a 3rd #1 seed in a single tournament can only happen in the finals):

  • 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 four #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[5]
    • Harvard in 1998 (the only #16 seed to beat a #1 seed in either the women's or men's tournament until 2018, and still the only one to do so in the women's tournament)
  • Regional Semifinals (Sweet Sixteen): #13 seed[5]
  • Regional Finals (Elite Eight): #11 seed
  • National Semifinals (Final Four): #9 seed[5]
  • National Finals (Championship Game): #5 seed
  • National Champion: #3 seed[5]
    • North Carolina in 1994
    • Tennessee in 1997

Best Performances by #14 & #15 Seeds

Unlike in the men's tournament, no #14 seed has beaten a #3 and no #15 seed has beaten a #2 seed, but they have come close.

  • 2 points: #14 Seed
    • Austin Peay lost to UNC in 2003 (2 points, 72–70)
    • Eastern Michigan lost to Boston College in 2004 (2 points, 58–56)
    • Creighton lost to St. John's in 2012 (2 points, 69–67)
  • Overtime games: #15 Seed
    • UTSA lost to Baylor in 2009 (5 points, 87–82). UTSA is the only #15 seed to take a game into overtime.
  • 1 point: #15 Seed
    • Long Beach State lost to Oregon State in 2017 (1 point, 56–55)

First-round games

Since the expansion to 64 teams in 1994, each seed-pairing has played 104 first-round games with these results:

  1. The #1 seed is 103–1 against the #16 seed (.990).
  2. The #2 & #3 seeds are 104–0 against the #15 & #14 seeds, respectively (1.000).
  3. The #4 seed is 98–6 against the #13 seed (.942).
  4. The #5 seed is 82–22 against the #12 seed (.788).
  5. The #6 seed is 72–32 against the #11 seed (.692).
  6. The #7 seed is 67–37 against the #10 seed (.644).
  7. The #9 seed is 55–49 against the #8 seed (.529).

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 48–1 (.980) 52–2 (.963)
#16 0–1 (.000)

note: The 3 losses by the #1 seed vs #8/9 were: Duke (vs Michigan St, 2009), Ohio St (vs Boston College, 2006), Texas Tech (vs Notre Dame, 1998).
note: The #9 vs. #16 game was Arkansas over Harvard in 1998.

  • In the 2/15/7/10 bracket:
vs. #7 vs. #10
#2 49–13 (.790) 31–3 (.912)
#15
  • In the 3/14/6/11 bracket:
vs. #6 vs. #11
#3 45–22 (.672) 17–12 (.586)
#14
  • In the 4/13/5/12 bracket:
vs. #5 vs. #12
#4 42–27 (.609) 18–3 (.857)
#13 3–3 (.500)

Teams entering the tournament unbeaten

Of the 18 teams who have entered the tournament unbeaten, 9 went on to win the National Championship.[6]

  • In 1986, Texas entered the tournament 30–0, beat USC for 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, beat Tennessee for 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) both entered the tournament unbeaten; Liberty lost in the first round to Tennessee, which went on to beat Louisiana Tech for the national title and ended the season 39–0.
  • In 2002, 2009, and 2010, Connecticut entered the tournament 33–0, won the national title in each, and ended those seasons 39–0. They respectively beat Oklahoma, Louisville, and Stanford in those championship games.
  • In 2012, Baylor entered the tournament 34–0, beat Notre Dame for the national title, and ended the season 40–0. The Lady Bears became the first team in NCAA college basketball history, for either women or men, to win 40 games in a season. Notably, Louisiana Tech went 40–5 during the 1979–80 season. This was during the AIAW era for women's basketball.
  • In 2014, Connecticut (34–0) and Notre Dame (32–0) both entered the tournament unbeaten; Connecticut beat Notre Dame 79–58 for the national title, ended the season 40–0 and is the 8th team to end the season unbeaten.
  • In 2015, Princeton entered the tournament 30–0, but lost in the second round to Maryland.
  • In 2016, Connecticut entered the tournament 32–0, beat Syracuse for the national title, ending the season 38–0.
  • In 2017, Connecticut entered the tournament 32–0, but lost in the Final Four to Mississippi State, ending their 111-game winning streak to finish 36–1.
  • In 2018, Connecticut entered the tournament 32–0, but lost in the Final Four to Notre Dame, ending their 36-game winning streak to finish 36–1.

Home state

Only one team has ever played the Final Four on its home court. Two other teams have played the Final Four in their home cities, 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. The following year, USC won the national title at Pauley Pavilion, the home court of its Los Angeles arch-rival UCLA.

Of the other teams to play in their home states, Stanford (1992) 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:[7]
    • Tennessee 70, Virginia 67/OT (1991)
    • Maryland 78, Duke 75/OT (2006)
  • Smallest margin of victory in a championship game: 1 point[8]
    • North Carolina 60, Louisiana Tech 59 (1994)
    • Baylor 82, Notre Dame 81 (2019)
  • Biggest margin of victory in a championship game: 33 points[8]
    • Connecticut 93, Louisville 60 (2013)
  • Margin of 10 points: Louisiana Tech (1982), Tennessee (1987 & 1989), Purdue (1999), Connecticut (2000, 2002, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016), and Baylor (2012) are teams to win every game in the tournament by 10 points or more on their way to a championship. The 2016 UConn team won every game by more than 20 points.
  • Top 9 largest point differentials accumulated over the entire tournament by tournament champion. Notably, Louisiana Tech's differential is prior to the expansion of 64 teams and the addition of one more round of play.
    • 2016 Connecticut (+239)
    • 2010 Connecticut (+214)
    • 2013 Connecticut (+208)
    • 2015 Connecticut (+197)
    • 2000 Connecticut (+187)
    • 2002 Connecticut (+161)
    • 2019 Baylor (+159)
    • 1982 Louisiana Tech (+158)
    • 2014 Connecticut (+156)

Same-conference championship games

6 championship games have featured two teams from the same conference (winner in bold):

  • 1989 SEC, Tennessee and Auburn
  • 1996 SEC, Tennessee and Georgia
  • 2006 ACC, Maryland and Duke
  • 2009 Big East, Connecticut and Louisville
  • 2013 Big East, Connecticut and Louisville
  • 2017 SEC, South Carolina and Mississippi State

Result by school and by year

284 teams have appeared in the NCAA Tournament in at least one year starting with 1982 (the initial year that the post-season tournament was under the auspices of the NCAA). The results for all years are shown in this table below.[9]

The code in each cell represents the furthest the team made it in the respective tournament:

  •    Round of 64 (Fewer than 64 teams invited before 1994.)
  •  32  Round of 32
  •  S16  Sweet Sixteen
  •  E8  Elite Eight
  •  F4  Final Four
  •  RU  National Runner-up
  •  CH  National Champion
APP 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
School
Tennessee38F4E8RUS16F4CHF4CHE8CHS16E8S16RUCHCHCHE8RUS16F4RURUF4E8CHCHS16E8E8E8S16E8E83232
Stanford3332S16E8CHF4CHS16E8F4F4F43232S1632E8E8E832RUF4RUF4F4S16F4S16E8F4S16E8
Georgia3332F4E8RUS16S16S163232E832F4RUE8F4E832S16E8S16S16S1632S16S16E832
Texas32E8E8S16CHF4E8E8E83232323232S16F4S16323232S16E8S16S16
Connecticut3132F432E8CHF4E8E8S16CHF4CHCHCHS16E8E8F4CHCHF4F4CHCHCHCHF4F4F4
Louisiana Tech27CHRUF4E8E8RUCHF4F4E8RUS16E8S16RUF4E8E8S16S16
Maryland27F4S163232E8F432E8323232CH32E8E832E8S16F4F432S163232
North Carolina2732S1632S163232S16CHS16S16E8S16S16S1632E8F4F4E832S1632E8S16
Vanderbilt273232S16S16E8F4S16S16E8S1632E8E832S16S163232S16S16323232
Notre Dame2632F4S1632S16CH32S16S163232S16S16RURUF4RURUS16E8CHRU
Purdue2632S1632S16F4E832E8CH32RU32E8S1632S16E832E83232323232
LSU26S16E832S1632S16S16E83232E8F4F4F4F4F4323232S16S16
Iowa2632E8E8S16323232F432S1632323232323232S16E8
Old Dominion25S16F4E8CHS163232323232S16RUS16S16S16E8S16
Virginia25323232S16E8S16F4RUF4E8S16E8E8S1632S163232323232
Rutgers25E8E8S16323232S16E8F43232E8S16RUE8S163232
Ohio State253232E8S16E8S16S1632RU323232S1632S1632S1632S16S1632
Penn State25S16E832S16S1632323232S1632E832S1632F4S16S16E832S1632S16
North Carolina State25S1632S16S1632S16S16S16S16S1632F432S16S1632S16S16
Duke2432323232E8RUS16S16F4F4E8E8RUS16S1632E8E8E8E832S1632S16
DePaul243232323232S16S1632S1632S163232
Louisville22323232323232S16RUS1632RUE8S1632S16F4E8
Auburn2132S16S16S16E8RURURUE8S1632E8323232323232
Oklahoma21S1632S16S16RU32S16S1632F4F4S1632S16323232
Montana21S16323232323232
Texas Tech203232S16CHS16E8S163232S16E8S16S16E832S16
Western Kentucky20F4F43232S16RUS1632S163232
Washington19323232S1632E8S163232S16E832F4S16
Baylor1832S16CHS163232S16F4E8CHS16E8E8E8E8S16CH
Florida State183232323232S163232E8323232E8S16E83232
Iowa State1832E8S16S16323232E8S163232
George Washington18323232S1632E83232323232S16S16
Stephen F. Austin18323232S16S1632S16S16S163232
Green Bay18323232S1632
Middle Tennessee1832323232323232
Michigan State1732323232RUS1632S16323232323232
Ole Miss1732S16S16E8E8S16S16E8S16E832E8
Arizona State17S16S1632S1632E832E832S16323232S16
Utah173232S163232E832
Liberty17S16
Southern California16E8CHCHS16RUS16S1632E8S16E8323232
South Carolina16S1632S16E832S1632S16F4S16CHE8S16
Texas A&M16S1632E8S1632CHS1632E83232S16S16
UCLA1632S16S1632E832323232S16S16E8S16
Clemson163232S16S16E83232323232S16323232
Kansas State16E8S1632S163232323232323232
Missouri State1532F4S16323232F4S16
Kentucky15E8323232E832E8E8S1632S163232
Oregon1532323232323232E8E8F4
Florida153232E8S163232323232
Oklahoma State1532S1632S163232S1632
Chattanooga1532
California143232S1632F432323232
Nebraska1432323232S16S1632
Miami (FL)14S16323232323232
UC Santa Barbara143232323232S16
Colorado133232E8S16E832S1632E8S16
Drake13E8323232S16
Kansas13323232S1632S1632S16S16
Missouri13S1632323232S16323232
BYU133232S1632S163232
Saint Joseph's13323232323232323232
Long Beach State12S16E8E8E8S16F4F4E832S16
James Madison12S16S16S1632S1632
West Virginia1232S163232323232323232
Marquette12323232323232
Holy Cross123232
Saint Francis (PA)12
Mississippi State1132323232S1632S16RURUE8
Syracuse1132323232RU3232
Oregon State11S1632323232F4S16E8S16
Arkansas11E8S1632F43232323232
Gonzaga1132S16E8S16S1632
Villanova1132323232E83232
Bowling Green1132S16
Temple113232323232
Tulane11323232
Alabama10S163232F4S16S16S16S1632
Minnesota103232S16F4S163232
Xavier1032E8E832
St. John's10323232323232S1632
Marist10S16323232
Tennessee Tech103232323232
San Diego State9S16S163232S16
Virginia Tech93232S1632323232
Georgia Tech9323232S16
TCU93232323232
South Dakota State93232S16
Maine932
Hampton9
Dayton83232E8
Illinois8323232S16S163232
UNLV8323232S163232
Southern Miss83232S1632
New Mexico8S1632
Michigan83232323232
Toledo8323232
Princeton832
Boston College73232S16S1632S16
Arizona732S16323232
Memphis7S16323232
Creighton73232323232
Northwestern73232323232
SMU7323232
Wisconsin73232
Saint Peter's732
Dartmouth7
Austin Peay7
Fresno State7
Colorado State63232S1632
Indiana6S163232
Florida International6323232
South Florida6323232
Florida Gulf Coast63232
Hartford63232
Little Rock63232
Harvard632
Albany632
Hawaii632
New Mexico State632
Santa Clara632
Vermont632
Oral Roberts6
Boise State6
Grambling6
Prairie View A&M6
Robert Morris6
Central Michigan53232S16
Providence5S1632
Quinnipiac5S1632
Illinois State5323232
Houston53232
Kent State53232
Northern Illinois53232
Howard532
Penn5
UCF5
Belmont5
Northwestern State5
Southern5
Georgetown4S1632S1632
Pittsburgh432S16S1632
Southern Illinois432S1632
Seton Hall4S1632
Delaware432S16
San Francisco4S16
Cincinnati432
La Salle432
Idaho432
Jackson State432
Appalachian State4
Bucknell4
Cal State Northridge4
Fairfield4
Manhattan4
North Carolina A&T4
Pepperdine4
Portland4
Radford4
UT Martin4
Cheyney[lower-alpha 1]3RUS16F4
Louisiana–Monroe332S16F4
Buffalo3S1632
Rice332
Youngstown State332
Fordham3
Richmond3
Wichita State3
Alabama State3
Alcorn State3
Army3
Coppin State3
East Tennessee State3
Georgia State3
Idaho State3
Lehigh3
Navy3
Ohio3
Sacred Heart3
San Diego3
Stetson3
Tennessee State3
Troy3
UC Riverside3
UNC Asheville3
Lamar2E8
St. Bonaventure2S1632
UAB2S16
East Carolina232
Tulsa232
UTEP232
Cal State Fullerton232
Saint Mary's232
Western Michigan232
Charlotte2
South Dakota2
Massachusetts2
UTSA2
Western Illinois2
American2
Central Arkansas2
Cleveland State2
Eastern Kentucky2
Eastern Michigan2
Elon2
Evansville2
Florida A&M2
Furman2
Georgia Southern2
Loyola (MD)2
McNeese State2
Mercer2
Milwaukee2
Montana State2
Mount St. Mary's2
Northern Iowa2
Oakland2
Portland State2
Samford2
Southeast Missouri State2
Texas State2
Texas–Arlington2
UC Davis2
Valparaiso2
Weber State2
Western Carolina2
Wright State2
Monmouth132
South Carolina State132
New Orleans132
Wake Forest132
Ball State132
Duquesne132
North Texas1
Eastern Washington1
South Alabama1
Eastern Illinois1
Washington State1
Brown1
UC Irvine1
Butler1
Rhode Island1
Marshall1
Detroit Mercy1
UNC Greensboro1
Northeastern1
Campbell1
Denver1
LIU[lower-alpha 2]1
Siena1
Norfolk State1
Boston University1
Colgate1
Lipscomb1
Loyola Marymount1
Canisius1
Florida Atlantic1
Northern Arizona1
Delaware State1
Louisiana1
UMBC1
Cornell1
Miami (OH)1
Murray State1
Wyoming1
VCU1
Drexel1
Gardner–Webb1
Cal Poly1
North Dakota1
Akron1
Winthrop1
Savannah State[lower-alpha 1]1
St. Francis Brooklyn1
Iona1
Jacksonville1
Texas Southern1
Nicholls1
Northern Colorado1
Seattle1
Abilene Christian1
Bethune–Cookman1
Towson1
Notes
  1. No longer a member of NCAA Division I (as of 2019–20).
  2. Following the 2019 merger of the LIU Brooklyn and LIU Post athletic programs into a single LIU program, the new program will inherit the athletic history of LIU Brooklyn.

See also

References

  1. "NCAA may move Women's Final Four dates". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  2. Official 2012 NCAA Women's Final Four Record p 75
  3. "Greg Christopher named chair of DI Women's Basketball Committee". NCAA. March 1, 2011.
  4. "2013 NCAA Women's Final Four Records" (PDF). NCAA. Retrieved April 15, 2013.
  5. Official 2012 NCAA Women's Final Four Record p 58
  6. Official 2012 NCAA Women's Final Four Record p 67
  7. Official 2012 NCAA Women's Final Four Record p 6,7
  8. Official 2012 NCAA Women's Final Four Record p 9
  9. Nixon, Rick. "Official 2017 NCAA Women's Final Four Records Book" (PDF). NCAA. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
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