Best Teams Ever bracket: NCAA women's basketball edition, Round 2

Yahoo Sports

Welcome to the Best Team Ever bracket series, where the greatest of all time have their most dominant seasons stacked up against each other until we ultimately crown a champion in each sport. The tournament will be decided by fan vote, so be sure to submit yours below! The second round of polling closes at noon ET on Thursday.

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Best Team Ever: Women's college basketball edition, Round 2 (Yahoo Sports illustration)
Best Team Ever: Women's college basketball edition, Round 2 (Yahoo Sports illustration)

2016 Connecticut vs. 2010 Connecticut

No. 1 — 2016 Connecticut (38-0)

PPG: 88.1 | Opp PPG: 48.3 | Margin: 39.7

The 2016 Huskies are the last UConn squad to win a championship, and easily made it to the second round of the Best Ever bracket with 83 percent of the vote against the 2020 Oregon Ducks.

Stewart won the AP Player of the Year, Naismith Trophy, Wade Trophy and John R. Wooden Award among other accolades for the Huskies’ fourth title in four years. She became the first unanimous AP POY selection; Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu became the second this spring.

The Huskies had the second-largest margin of victory in NCAA history at 39.7 points. Their dominance didn’t stop in the regular season as they beat their Final Four and title game opponents by a combined 60 points.

No. 8 — 2010 Connecticut (39-0)

PPG: 81.1 | Opp PPG: 46.2 | Margin: 34.9

The 2010 squad defeated the 1995 one — the first Huskies to go undefeated — with 63 percent of the vote in the first round. The ’10 Huskies beat the 11 ranked opponents they faced by an average of 24 points en route to a perfect season that concluded with a 20-point victory over Baylor in the Final Four during Brittney Griner’s freshman year. They edged Stanford by six in the championship game.

Tina Charles won the 2020 Naismith Trophy and Wooden Award and went No. 1 in that April’s WNBA draft. Moore won the awards the next year as the Huskies went back-to-back for the second time in program history.

2014 Connecticut vs. 1998 Tennessee

No. 4 Connecticut (40-0)

PPG: 82.1 | Opp PPG: 47.8 | Margin: 34.3

  • Stewart, Tuck, Jefferson, Bria Hartley

  • Began record 111-game win streak

The 2014 Huskies cruised to a win over the Candace Parker-led 2007 Lady Vols with 74 percent of the vote in the first round. They won their second of four consecutive national titles with Stewart and started their record 111-game winning streak.

UConn defeated Stanford by 19 points in the Final Four and Notre Dame by 21 in the championship. It was the only title game between undefeated squads.

No. 5 Tennessee (39-0)

PPG: 88.8 | Opp PPG: 58.7 | Margin: 30.1

  • Tamika Catchings (freshman), 2020 Naismith Hall of Fame finalist

  • Chamique Holdsclaw (junior), Women’s Basketball HOF inductee

The 1998 Lady Vols earned 85 percent of the vote over the 1988 Louisiana Tech team that included Naismith Hall of Fame inductee Teresa Weatherspoon.

Tennessee won its third title in program history, playing a tough schedule that included No. 2 ranked Louisiana Tech and Old Dominion, early powerhouses, and Connecticut, the growing powerhouse. Its margin of victory is one of the top-20 margins in NCAA history and Holdsclaw won the Naismith Award, her first of back-to-back honors. Catchings won it in 2000.

2015 Connecticut vs. 2003 Connecticut

No. 10 — 2015 Connecticut (38-1)

PPG: 89.3 | Opp PPG: 48.6 | Margin: 40.6

  • Stewart, Tuck, Jefferson, Williams, Kia Nurse, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis

  • NCAA record points, scoring margin

The 2015 team pulled the upset, taking down the 1990 Stanford Cardinal with 71 percent of the vote in the first round. Led by Stewart, then a junior, the Huskies scored an NCAA record 3,481 points and had a record scoring margin of 40.6 points. Their only loss was to Stanford in the second game of the season, 88-86, in overtime.

Connecticut crushed its NCAA tournament competition until the title game against Notre Dame, when it won by only 10 points.

No. 15 — 2003 Connecticut (37-1)

PPG: 74.8 | Opp PPG: 54.1 | Margin: 20.7

  • Diana Taurasi, WNBA’s all-time scoring leader

  • Only loss in Big East title game

The 2003 Huskies won in an upset over the 1982 Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters, who scored at least 100 points in 11 games and did it six consecutive times. Connecticut moved on with 58 percent of the vote.

It won the second of three consecutive titles with Taurasi, who won back-to-back Naismith Player of the Year awards. She carried the team that year, scoring 28 points in the championship game to defeat Tennessee, 73-68. It was the first title winner to do it without a senior on the roster.

The team’s only loss was to Villanova in the Big East tournament championship game.

2012 Baylor vs. 2002 Connecticut

No. 6 Baylor (40-0)

PPG: 78.4 | Opp PPG: 52.1 | Margin: 26.3

  • Two-time POY Brittney Griner

  • First team to go 40-0

Baylor advanced past the 1986 Texas Longhorns, the first team to go undefeated, with 80 percent of the vote. The Bears were led in 2012 by Brittney Griner’s 23.2 points per game as she went on to the first of back-to-back Naismith trophies. She also won the Wooden Award and AP Player of the Year award, among others, those two seasons.

The team defeated Notre Dame and Stanford in the Final Four by an average of 15.5 points and were the first NCAA DI team to win 40 games.

No. 3 Connecticut (39-0)

PPG: 87.0 | Opp PPG: 51.6 | Margin: 35.4

  • Sue Bird and Swin Cash, seniors

  • Taurasi, sophomore

And finally, the 2002 Connecticut team had 84 percent of the vote against the Teresa Edwards-led Old Dominion championship team of 1985.

This squad was voted the best of any in a 2017 Hartford Courant poll. The smallest margin of victory was nine points for the all-star group that has gone on to WNBA championships, Team USA golds and all-time basketball records.

Bird won the Naismith award in 2002 (followed by Taurasi’s two wins) and was the No. 1 pick in the draft. She averaged 14.4 PPG on 50.5 percent shooting, including 46.6 percent from 3-point range. The Huskies scored fewer than 82 points only once in the NCAA tournament and their closest win was by 12 against Oklahoma in the title game.


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