April 4, 2005
April 4, 2005
PHILADELPHIA REGIONAL CHAMPION
Tennessee "Lady Vols"
(Ranked No. 3 by AP and No. 3 by USA Today/ESPN/WBCA)
Record: 30-4; 13-1, automatic bid SEC; No. 1 seed
NCAA TOURNAMENT RESULTS: Defeated Western Carolina 94-43; Purdue 75-54; Texas Tech 75-59; Rutgers 59-49
- Tennessee Women's Final Four Appearances (16): 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
- Tennessee National Titles (6): 1987, 1989 1991, 1996, 1997, 1998
- Five schools have won multiple NCAA titles: Tennessee (6), Connecticut (5), Louisiana Tech (2), USC (2), and Stanford (2). The longest drought between national championships for each: Tennessee - six years, current (last 1998); Connecticut - four years (1996 to 1999); Louisiana Tech - 17 years, current (last 1988); USC - 21 years, current (last 1984); Stanford - 13 years, current (last 1992).
- Tennessee is making its record 16th trip to the Final Four. The Lady Vols have made four straight appearances, five in six years, and nine in the last 11 years. (Louisiana Tech's nine Women's Final Four appearances rank second ahead of Connecticut's eight.)
- As of 2004, Tennessee had a nation-high 79 players compete in the Women's Final Four on 15 teams. Nicky Anosike, Sybil Dosty, Abby Canon, Aubrey Guastalli and Alexis Hornbuckle are five additional players who could increase that number. Every Lady Vol since 1976 (includes NCAA Tournament and AIAW Tournaments) has competed in at least one Final Four.
- Tennessee coach Pat Summitt has guided Tennessee to all 16 of its Women's Final Four appearances, the most appearances by any coach in the game, men's or women's.
- Summitt's overall coaching record stands at 882-171 in 31 seasons, all at Tennessee. She is the winningest coach, men's and women's, in NCAA history having just passed UNC's Dean Smith (880 victories).
- Summitt has the highest winning percentage in NCAA tournament history at 89-17 (.840), and owns the marks for most tournament wins, games coached (106), and tournament appearances (24). In Final Four records, Summitt is first in NCAA titles (6), Women's Final Four appearances (16), and Women's Final Four wins (17).
- Tennessee's Women's Final Four record is 17-9 for a 65.4 winning percentage, third all-time.
- Tennessee is 11-4 (.733) in national semifinal games. The Lady Vols are 6-5 (.545) in NCAA championship games.
- The Lady Vols last lost a national semifinal game on March 29, 2002, when Connecticut posted a 79-56 win in San Antonio, Texas. Tennessee has not lost a national semifinal game to a team other than Connecticut since 1988, when it lost 68-59 to Louisiana Tech in Tacoma, Wash. The Lady Techsters beat the Lady Vols in the 1982 national semifinal. USC beat the Lady Vols in the 1986 national semifinal.
- Tennessee's average winning margin in its 11 national semifinal victories is +11.8 (73.6-61.8). Its average losing margin in its four national semifinal losses is -19.8 (74.8-55.0). Its overall margin in 15 national semifinal games is +3.4 (68.7-65.3).
- Tennessee national semifinal superlatives: largest win - 28 points (86-58 vs. Arkansas, 3/27/98); largest loss - 24 points (83-59 vs. USC, 3/28/86); smallest win - 2 points (52-50 vs. LSU, 4/4/04); smallest loss - 9 points (68-59 vs. Louisiana Tech, 4/1/88).
- Tennessee has played one overtime game in a national semifinal, beating Connecticut 88-83 in Charlotte, N.C., on March 29, 1996.
- Tennessee is the only team in this year's Final Four field to have played a 2005 NCAA Tournament game on its home court.
- Tennessee is 5-0 on neutral courts this season. The Lady Vols last lost on a neutral court in the 2004 NCAA championship game in New Orleans (Connecticut, 70-61; 4/6/04).
- The last time Tennessee played in Indiana, it defeated Notre Dame 77-61 on a neutral court. The game was played at Conseco Fieldhouse on Dec. 28, 2002. Five current Lady Vols played in that game: Shyra Ely (14 points); Brittany Jackson (6 points); Loree Moore (5 points); Shanna Zolman (5 points); and Tye'sha Fluker (2 points). The quintet combined to shoot 9 for 27 from the field (.333), 2 for 5 from three-point range (.400), and 12 for 14 from the free throw line (.857), totaling 32 points.
- Tennessee is 5-1 against Big Ten teams in the NCAA Tournament, including 1-0 already this year (Purdue, second round). Only once before has Tennessee played two Big Ten teams in the same NCAA Tournament: in 1993, the Lady Vols beat Northwestern in the second round, then lost to Iowa in the regional final. Tennessee has never met a Big Ten team past the regional final round.
- Only one Big Ten team has ever ended a Lady Vols' season: Iowa, in 1993 (Mideast Regional final). Other SEC teams have twice: Georgia in 1983, and Mississippi in 1985. Current members of the Big 12 have never given Tennessee its last loss of the season.
- Tennessee enters the 2005 NCAA Women's Final Four on a 12-game win streak. The last time the Lady Vols won the NCAA championship, in 1998, they had won 44 games in a row entering the Final Four, including 37 straight in the 1997-98 season. Their shortest win streak preceding a Final Four is three games (1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1991). The last three years they came into the Final Four having won four straight.
- Three out of the five times Tennessee has carried a double-digit win streak into the Final Four, it has won a championship (1989: 15 games; 1996: 13 games; 1998: 37/44 games). The Lady Vols lost in 1988, riding a 22-game win streak, and in 2000, riding a 19-game win streak.
- Compared to the three other teams in the 2005 Final Four, Tennessee's current win streak ranks third behind Baylor (18) and Michigan State (16). LSU has won four in a row.
- The only time Tennessee has won an NCAA title in the month of April was in 1989. The Lady Vols' five other titles were won in late March. Tennessee has had an opportunity to win five additional titles in April, but came up empty each time (1984, 1995, 2000, 2003, 2004).
- Senior Shyra Ely (Indianapolis) and junior Shanna Zolman (Wawasee) are two of four players from Indiana to play at Tennessee. Abby Conklin (Charlestown) and April McDivitt (Connersville) were the others. All four were Indiana Miss Basketball winners: Conklin in 1993; McDivitt in 1999; Ely in 2001; and Zolman in 2002. Conklin won NCAA titles in 1996 and 1997; McDivitt did not win a title in her three years in Knoxville before transferring to UC Santa Barbara.
- Lady Vol assistant coach Nikki Caldwell won an NCAA title as a Tennessee freshman in 1991.
- Former Lady Vol All-American Semeka Randall (1997-2001) is an assistant coach for Michigan State. Randall was a member of two championship teams at Tennessee (1997, 1998). Current Michigan State assistant Al Brown was an assistant for Pat Summitt from 1995-2002.
- The only other coach in the 2005 NCAA Women's Final Four to have won an NCAA title as a player is Baylor's Kim Mulkey-Robertson, who was the starting point guard on Louisiana Tech's 1982 championship team.
KANSAS CITY REGIONAL CHAMPION: Michigan State "Spartans"
(Ranked No. 6 AP and No. 5 USA Today/ESPN)
RECORD: 33-3 (14-2 in Big Ten Conference - co-champion with Ohio State); automatic bid No. 1 seed
ROAD T THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: W, 73-41 vs. Alcorn State; W, 61-59 vs. Southern California; W, 76-64 vs. Vanderbilt; W, 76-69 vs. Stanford; W, 68-64 vs. Tennessee.
WOMEN'S FINAL FOUR APPEARANCES: 1 (2005)
WOMEN'S FINAL FOUR RECORD: 1-0 (2005)
NCAA TOURNAMENT RECORD: 8-5 (six appearances)
- Michigan State rallied from a 16-point second-half deficit (47-31 with 16:03 left in the game) to defeat Tennessee. The 16-point comeback ties for the largest in NCAA Women's Final Four history, equaling the 16-point rally by Notre Dame vs. Connecticut in the 2001 national semifinals (ironically, also from a 47-31 deficit).
- Michigan State earns its first win over Tennessee and improves to 8-8 all-time against Southeastern Conference opponents (2-0 this season, including a 76-64 victory over Vanderbilt in the Kansas City Regional semifinal on March 27).
- Michigan State has won a school-record 33 games this season. The previous record was 23 games, set back in 1976-77. Incidentally, this season also marks only the sixth 20-win campaign in school history (second in a row following a 22-9 mark last year) and the second time the Spartans have posted back-to-back 20-win seasons (also 1976-77 and 1977-78).
- MSU now has won a school-record 17 consecutive games since its last loss (73-56 at Penn State on Jan. 23). The previous Michigan State record for consecutive victories was 11, set during the 1976-77 season.
- Prior to this season, the Spartans had not advanced beyond the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
- This year, Michigan State has four wins over the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 ranked teams in the country in the Associated Press poll (at the time of tipoff) - top-ranked Stanford (76-69 on March 29 in NCAA Kansas City Regional final), second-ranked Ohio State (66-64 on Feb. 20), third-ranked Notre Dame (82-73 in overtime on Dec. 2) and third-ranked Tennessee (68-64 this evening). Prior to this season, the Spartans had never defeated a team ranked higher than fourth in the nation (71-63 vs. Penn State on Jan. 23, 2000).
- The Spartans are now 13-1 against ranked opponents (4-1 vs. top-10 foes) this season, more than doubling the previous school record for victories over Top 25 foes (five in both 1990-91 and 1996-97). MSU's only loss to a ranked team this season was a 68-54 setback at No. 9 Ohio State on Jan. 6.
- After leading at halftime in 28 of its first 33 games (27-1 record), Michigan State has trailed at the half in its last three games (3-0 record).
- Michigan State is the seventh team in NCAA Tournament history to reach the national championship game in its first and only time as a No. 1 seed (first since Oklahoma in 2002). The Spartans are aiming to become the third team to win an NCAA title in its first and only time as a No. 1 seed, joining Texas Tech (1993) and Notre Dame (2001) in that elite club.
- Tonight's victory is only the eighth NCAA Tournament win in Michigan State history. Like their NCAA title game opponent (Baylor), the Spartans will enter Tuesday night's NCAA final with the fewest career victories by a title game participant since 1993, when Texas Tech had a 5-5 record prior to its national championship game win vs. Ohio State (84-82 at The Omni in Atlanta).
- Also like Baylor, Michigan State is the first team to reach the NCAA title game in its first Final Four appearance since Oklahoma in 2002 (the Sooners lost to Connecticut in the NCAA final, 82-70, at the Alamodome in San Antonio).
- The last team to win a national championship in its first trip to the Final Four was North Carolina in 1994 (defeated Louisiana Tech, 60-59 on Charlotte Smith's buzzer-beating three-pointer at the Richmond (Va.) Coliseum). Since the NCAA Tournament began in 1982, 10 teams have reached the NCAA final in their first Final Four appearance - these teams are 6-4 in the title game.
- Tuesday night's NCAA championship game will mark the first time since 1993 (Texas Tech 84, Ohio State 82 in Atlanta) that both finalists will be making their initial appearance in the national title contest.
- Michigan State head coach Joanne P. McCallie was named the Associated Press National Coach of the Year on Saturday afternoon. She is the first MSU coach ever to win the nation's top coaching honor. In addition, McCallie was tapped as the Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year, making her only the second Spartan skipper ever to win that honor (McCallie's predecessor, Karen Langeland, took home the award in 1988).
- In her career, Joanne P. McCallie has been named Coach of the Year four times by three different conferences (North Atlantic in 1995 and 1996; America East in 1999; Big Ten in 2005).
- Michigan State head coach Joanne P. McCallie will make her first trip to the national championship game as a head coach on Tuesday night. However, she twice reached the NCAA final while serving as an assistant coach at Auburn - 1989 (lost to Tennessee, 76-60) and 1990 (lost to Stanford, 88-81).
- With four three-pointers tonight, junior guard Lindsay Bowen has broken her own single-season school record with 81 three-pointers this year.
- Junior forward Liz Shimek now has 537 points this season, the second-highest total in school history (Maxann Reese had 546 in 1998-99).
- Junior forward Liz Shimek set a new school record by making 213 field goals this year, breaking Maxann Reese's old mark of 211 in 1998-99.
- Junior forward Liz Shimek collected her team-high 12th double-double of the season and 23rd of her career with 12 points and 11 rebounds tonight.
- Junior forward Liz Shimek now has 845 rebounds in her three-year career, moving into fourth place on the MSU all-time rebounds list ahead of Paula Sanders (842 from 1994-97).
- Senior guard Kristin Haynie grabbed the 600th rebound of her career in tonight's game.
- MSU is the third Big Ten Conference school ever to reach the NCAA title game. In 1993, Ohio State lost to Texas Tech, 84-82 in Atlanta. In 1999, Purdue won the conference's only national championship, downing Duke, 62-45 in San Jose. Then, in 2001, Purdue returned to the title game, losing to Notre Dame, 68-66 in St. Louis.
- The Big Ten Conference was the last league to win an NCAA title prior to the BIG EAST's five-year run of dominance from 2000-04 (Connecticut - 4; Notre Dame - 1). Purdue claimed the 1999 crown with a 62-45 victory over Duke at San Jose Arena, marking the Big Ten's first and only women's basketball national championship.