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Jacobs On A Role Reversal!

The 2005-06 season will be remembered for the coming-out of ACC women’s basketball. The women have certainly and emphatically surpassed the ACC men for the first time ever, at least for now.

ACC women had three teams ranked in the top 4 of the final AP poll (UNC, Maryland and Duke), including the top team in the Tar Heels. Only the Blue Devil men made the top six, finishing first.

Four ACC men’s teams got NCAA invitations. The women collected seven. The Duke and UNC women got No.1 seeds, while only Duke’s men were seeded so high.

Two men’s teams, Duke and Boston College, reached the Sweet 16. Four ACC women’s squads got that far – BC, Duke, Maryland, and North Carolina. No men’s club survived the third round. Three ACC women’s teams reached the Elite Eight, or fourth round. And, while the men were shut out of the Final Four, the ACC has three of its members competing for the NCAA women’s championship on the last weekend of the season.

The ACC became the first league to place three women’s teams in the same Final Four, matching the Big East men in 1985, when Georgetown, St. John’s, and eventual champion Villanova turned the trick.

Prior to this season, 10 ACC women’s teams had reached the Final Four. Three survived to the title game, and only UNC in 1994 won a championship.

Duke is making its fourth appearance in the Final Four, best among ACC programs and sixth-best in the quarter-century the NCAA has controlled women’s athletics. Maryland is going for the third time, matching Virginia for second-best in the ACC. North Carolina is making its second trip.

ACC Women’s Teams In Final Four Since 1982 NCAA Takeover

2006 Duke Meets LSU in semifinals
2006 Maryland Meets UNC in semifinals
2006 North Carolina Meets Maryland in semifinals
2003 Duke Lost in semifinals
2002 Duke Lost in semifinals
1999 Duke Lost in championship game
1998 N.C. State Lost in semifinals
1994 North Carolina Won championship
1992 Virginia Lost in semifinals
1991 Virginia Lost in championship game
1990 Virginia Lost in semifinals
1989 Maryland Lost in semifinals
1982 Maryland Lost in semifinals

  • The Southeastern Conference remains the league against which all others are measured in the women’s game. SEC teams have won six NCAA titles, made 16 appearances in the national title game, and occupied 30 of a possible 100 Final Four berths since 1982. During that same span, the ACC men led all conferences with 24 Final Four teams.
  • This year, LSU reached the women’s Final Four, its third consecutive appearance and the 13th time in the past 14 years at least one SEC team got to the national semifinals. The Tigers face Duke on Sunday.
  • Tennessee accounts for all six of the SEC’s titles and 16 of its Final Four berths. That’s one more spot in the women’s Final Four than the ACC managed until this year.

Power Conference Participation In Women’s Final Four, 1982-2006

(Total Visits/Titles Pending ’06 Outcome)
ACC Big East Big 10 Big 12 Pac-10 SEC
13/1 11/6 8/1 6/3 9/4 30/6

  • All titles won by SEC schools belong to Tennessee.
  • Five of six Big East titles were won by Connecticut. Notre Dame won in 2001.
  • Texas (Big 12), Southern Cal (Pac-10), and Stanford (Pac-10) each won a pair of NCAA championships. So did Louisiana Tech, these days a member of the Western Athletic Conference.
  • Louisiana Tech has been to the Final Four 10 times, more than any school except Tennessee and more than three entire power conferences.
  • Non-power schools with multiple Final Four berths: Old Dominion 3/1; Western Kentucky 3/0; Cheyney State 2/0; Long Beach State 2/0; Southwest Missouri 2/0.
  • The last time a team from the non-power conferences crashed the Final Four was 2001. Over the past decade, 36 of 40 national semifinalists came from the same six leagues.
  • This is the first time since N.C. State in 1998 that an ACC team other than Duke reached the women’s Final Four.

Most Final Four Appearances, By School (First Year in Parentheses):

  • 16 Tennessee (1982)
  • 10 Louisiana Tech (1982)
  • 8 Connecticut (1991)
  • 6 Stanford (1990)
  • 5 Georgia (1983)
  • 4 Duke (1999)