The Pac-12 will win a women's basketball national championship in 2021
SAN FRANCISCO – The Pac-12 will win yet another national championship. ARIZONA and STANFORD will meet for this season’s women’s basketball title on Sunday at 3 p.m. PT on ESPN. The top-seeded Cardinal took down fellow No. 1 seed South Carolina, 66-65, in Friday’s first national semifinal, while the No. 3 seed Wildcats led wire-to-wire in knocking off No. 1 seed Connecticut in the nightcap, 69-59.
Sunday will mark the seventh time in NCAA history two teams from the same conference will play for a national championship and first since South Carolina bested fellow SEC foe Mississippi State in 2017.
- 1989 – SEC (Tennessee vs. Auburn)
- 1996 – SEC (Tennessee vs. Georgia)
- 2006 – ACC (Maryland vs. Duke)
- 2009 – Big East (Connecticut vs. Louisville)
- 2013 – Big East (Connecticut vs. Louisville)
- 2017 – SEC (South Carolina vs. Mississippi State)
It’s a fitting culmination to an incredible tournament for the Pac-12. The Conference placed two teams in the Final Four for the second time in the past five NCAA Tournaments and leads all leagues with eight Final Four berths since 2013.
The Cardinal is the only Pac-12 program to previously win or appear in a women’s basketball national championship. Stanford won it all in 1990 and 1992 and has appeared in two other title games (2008, 2010). USC won titles in 1983 and 1984 as a member of the Western Collegiate Athletic Association and appeared in the title game in 1986 as a Pacific West Conference member. The first season of Pac-12 women’s basketball came in 1986-87.
Since 2016, the Pac-12 leads the country in NCAA Tournament wins (69) and winning percentage (.711), to go along with its superb regular-season record. Over the past six seasons, the Pac-12 leads all conferences with an .802 winning percentage (574-142) in nonconference, regular-season contests.
The only conference to win 500 NCAA Championships, the Pac-12 has captured 196 NCAA team titles since 1999-2000 and 336 since 1981-82, the start of women’s sports sponsorship, for an average of over eight per year. The Pac-12 has led or tied the nation in NCAA Championships in 54 of the last 60 years and has already captured three NCAA team championships in 2020-21 (men's indoor track & field – Oregon; skiing – Utah; men's water polo – UCLA).
Spanning over a century of outstanding athletics achievements, the Pac-12 has claimed 532 NCAA Championships, over 200 more than the next league. Since the NCAA began conducting women’s championships 39 years ago, Pac-12 members have captured 193 NCAA women’s titles, more than 80 championships ahead of the second-place SEC.