The 2005-06 season will be remembered for the coming-out of ACC womenâs 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 menâs teams got NCAA invitations. The women collected seven. The Duke and UNC women got No.1 seeds, while only Dukeâs men were seeded so high.
Two menâs teams, Duke and Boston College, reached the Sweet 16. Four ACC womenâs squads got that far â BC, Duke, Maryland, and North Carolina. No menâs club survived the third round. Three ACC womenâs 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 womenâs championship on the last weekend of the season.
The ACC became the first league to place three womenâs teams in the same Final Four, matching the Big East men in 1985, when Georgetown, St. Johnâs, and eventual champion Villanova turned the trick.
Prior to this season, 10 ACC womenâs 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 womenâs athletics. Maryland is going for the third time, matching Virginia for second-best in the ACC. North Carolina is making its second trip.
|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 womenâs 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 womenâs 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 SECâs titles and 16 of its Final Four berths. Thatâs one more spot in the womenâs Final Four than the ACC managed until this year.
|(Total Visits/Titles Pending â06 Outcome)|
|ACC||Big East||Big 10||Big 12||Pac-10||SEC|
- 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 womenâs 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)