Four Pac-12 women's basketball teams in final USA TODAY/WBCA Coaches Poll
SAN FRANCISCO – Headlined by national champion STANFORD and No. 2 ARIZONA, the Pac-12 placed four teams in the top 15 of the final USA TODAY Division I Coaches Poll, announced Monday by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.
The No. 1 Cardinal and second-ranked Wildcats were joined in the rankings by No. 12 UCLA and No. 15 OREGON.
It’s the sixth consecutive season the Conference has placed at least four teams in the final USA TODAY/WBCA poll, which is released after a national champion has been crowned. The final rankings from the Associated Press come prior to the start of the NCAA Tournament.
In the first all-Pac-12 NCAA final on Sunday night, Stanford survived Arizona, 54-53, when Aari McDonald’s 3-point heave at the buzzer didn’t fall. The Cardinal (31-2) won its third women’s basketball national championship in program history and first since 1992.
Arizona (21-6), which hadn’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 2005, became the first program to advance to the Final Four after missing out on the previous 10+ tournaments. The Wildcats led wire-to-wire in besting UConn in the semifinals, 69-59, to set up Sunday’s national title game between the Pac-12’s top two teams.
UCLA went 17-6 this season and earned its fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament berth, while Oregon put together a 15-9 record, which included the Ducks’ fourth consecutive trip to the Sweet 16.
Pac-12 teams tied a Conference record (2017) with 15 wins in this year’s NCAA Tournament. With Arizona’s run to the title game, half of the Pac-12 (Arizona, California, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, Washington) has now earned a Final Four berth over the past eight tournaments, a varied number of teams that is two more than any other league.
Since 2016, the Pac-12 leads all conferences in a number of categories, including Final Four appearances (8), nonconference winning percentage (.802), NCAA Tournament wins (70), NCAA Tournament winning percentage (.707) and WBCA All-Americans (13).