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Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports

The most memorable women's NCAA Tournament moments

Memories are sure to be made when the women's NCAA Tournament tips off later this week. That's a certainty. From last-second shots to stunning upsets and stellar individual performances, it's all waiting for college basketball fans.

nb游戏平台However, before we prepare for the future, it's fun to look back at the past — to those fantastic finishes, milestone performances and dominant team efforts.

Here's a look at some of the top moments in the history of the women's NCAA Tournament.

 
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Bauman goes for 50 (1982)

Bauman goes for 50 (1982)
Lance King/Getty Images

The inaugural women's tournament under the NCAA label was historic in more than one way. Drake's Lorri Bauman scored an amazing 50 points in her team's loss to Maryland in the regional finals. Perhaps more impressive, Bauman still holds the record for most points scored in an NCAA Tournament game, while her 21 made field goals on 35 attempts are also both marks that still stand today.

 
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Lady Techsters take first NCAA title (1982)

Lady Techsters take first NCAA title (1982)
Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Mighty Louisiana Tech ushered in a new era for the game by winning the first women's NCAA national championship. Prior champs were crowned within the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW). This tournament featured 32 teams, culminating with the Lady Techsters, who won the final AIAW title, beating Cheyney State (coach by legend C. Vivian Stringer) 76-62 in the national final. That Louisiana Tech team featured talented guard Kim Mulkey, the current coach at Baylor and only woman to win an NCAA Division I hoops title as a player and coach.

 
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Miller leads USC to repeat (1984)

Miller leads USC to repeat (1984)
University of Southern California/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

Cheryl Miller is perhaps the greatest women's basketball player of all time and was obviously a big reason USC became the first program to win back-to-back NCAA national titles. For the second consecutive tournament, in 1984, Miller earned Most Outstanding Player honors while leading the Trojans to a national championship at Pauley Pavilion, the home of their archrival, UCLA.

 
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Texas caps perfect season (1986)

Texas caps perfect season (1986)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

nb游戏平台For the first time under the auspices of the NCAA, a program went undefeated for an entire season. That honor belonged to Texas, which, led by 25 points off the bench from future Hall of Famer Clarissa Davis, took down Cheryl Miller, who went scoreless in the second half, and beat USC, 97-81, to cap a 34-0 campaign with the school's first NCAA title. 

 
5 of 25

Tennessee reaches 'Summitt' for first time (1987)

Tennessee reaches 'Summitt' for first time (1987)
Focus on Sport/Getty Images

The odds seemed stacked against the Lady Vols in their '87 national title game vs. Louisiana Tech. The Lady Techsters had won 11 of the previous 12 meetings with Tennessee, including a 23-point win in the 1982 national semifinals. However, the Vols avenged that defeat and all the others by blowing away Louisiana Tech by the same margin, 67-44, for the first of the school's eight national titles under late legend Pat Summitt. 

 
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Needing a little more (1991)

Needing a little more (1991)
Otto Greule/Allsport/Getty Images

Only twice in the history of the women's NCAA Tournament has a championship game gone into overtime. The first came in 1991 when Tennessee needed extra time to beat Virginia, 70-67, for its third national championship. The Cavaliers led by five with less than two minutes left in regulation, but Tennessee's Dena Head essentially made up that deficit on her own to force overtime and lead the Volunteers to the title. 

 
7 of 25

Swoopes' fantastic final (1993)

Swoopes' fantastic final (1993)
Otto Greule/Allsport/Getty Images

In the first national semifinals to include all newcomers to the Final Four stage — Texas Tech, Ohio State, Iowa and Vanderbilt — it was the Red Raiders claiming their first, and only, title. Star Sheryl Swoopes scored an NCAA national final record 47 points, as Texas Tech held on for an 84-82 victory over Ohio State in one of the more entertaining title games in tournament history.

 
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More the merrier (1994)

More the merrier (1994)
Lance King/Getty Images

nb游戏平台After years of 32 teams vying for the national championship, the NCAA Tournament field was expanded to 64. A total of 32 conferences were able to earn automatic bids, plus 32 at-large teams earned invitations to what would prove to be one of the most exciting NCAA Tournaments in the history of the event. 

 
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Smith beats clock for Tar Heels title (1994)

Smith beats clock for Tar Heels title (1994)
Jim Gund/Getty Images

In one of the greatest finishes in the history of the women's tournament, North Carolina's Charlotte Smith took an in-bound pass with 0.7 seconds left on the clock and her team down by two. Wide open on the right wing, Smith stepped up and , giving the Tar Heels a 60-59 victory over Louisiana Tech for their first national championship.

 
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UConn tops Vols (1995)

UConn tops Vols (1995)
Bob Stowell/Getty Images

Connecticut's true dominance of the women's game would begin five years later, but the foundation was officially laid during the '95 tournament. It also unofficially began the rivalry between UConn coach Geno Auriemma and Tennessee's Pat Summitt after the Huskies topped the Volunteers, 70-64, to win their first national championship, finish 35-0 and become the first team since Texas in 1986 to go undefeated for a season.

 
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No. 16 takes down No. 1 (1998)

No. 16 takes down No. 1 (1998)
Lance King/Getty Images

Prior to 2018, the only time a No. 16 seed upset a No. 1 in the NCAA Tournament came on the women's side. In 1998, 16th-seeded Harvard, with a quality 21-3 record,. The Crimson showed no sympathy, leading by nine at halftime on the Cardinal's home floor and winning, 71-67, to complete one of the biggest upsets in college basketball history.

 
12 of 25

Cinderella Razorbacks roll to the Final Four (1998)

Cinderella Razorbacks roll to the Final Four (1998)
Jed Jacobsohn/Staff//Getty Images

nb游戏平台Harvard wasn't the only underdog to come through during the '98 tournament. Arkansas, seeded ninth, made it all the way to the Final Four — still the lowest seed ever to reach the national semifinals in the women's NCAA Tournament. In fitting fashion, the Razorbacks beat Harvard in the second round. They then took down No. 5 seed Kansas before stunning No. 2 Duke in the regional final. Arkansas' Cinderella run ultimately ended with an 86-58 semifinal loss to eventual champion Tennessee.

 
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Parker's historic dunk (2006)

Parker's historic dunk (2006)
Kelly Kline/Getty Images

Candace Parker was already a star when she led Tennessee into the '06 NCAA Tournament. It was there that she elevated herself to rock star status when she became the first player to dunk in a women's tournament game. With just under 14 minutes left in the Vols' first-round game against Army, Parker finished off a break with a. She also dunked later in the game off a baseline pass.

 
14 of 25

Terps go extra to beat Duke (2006)

Terps go extra to beat Duke (2006)
Preston Keres/The Washington Post/Getty Images

It seems hard to believe that there have been just two women's NCAA national championship games decided in overtime. In the most recent game to need extra time, Maryland rallied from a 13-point, second-half deficit to force OT following . A pair of Toliver free throws helped the Terrapins win, 78-65, improve to 6-0 in overtime on the season and claim the program's only national title to date.

 
15 of 25

Wiggins tops 40 - twice (2008)

Wiggins tops 40 - twice (2008)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Ten times in the history of the women's NCAA Tournament has a player scored more than 40 points in a contest. Stanford star Candice Wiggins did it twice in the 2008 tournament — the only player to accomplish such a feat. She scored 44 in a second-round win over UTEP and then went for 41 as the Cardinal beat Maryland to reach the Final Four.

 
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Griner hosts a block party (2010)

Griner hosts a block party (2010)
AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images

nb游戏平台No player has officially blocked more shots in the history of the women's NCAA Tournament than former Baylor star Brittney Griner, who swatted away 105 over 18 games. Her most dominant performance came in a second-round victory over Georgetown when the 6-foot-9 standout blocked a tournament-record 14 shots. 

 
17 of 25

Gonzaga's memorable run (2011)

Gonzaga's memorable run (2011)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

nb游戏平台We know ninth-seeded Arkansas is the lowest seed ever to reach a Final Four, but Gonzaga came close to changing that in 2011. Playing two games on their home court and the regional in their home city of Spokane, Wash., the No. 11 Bulldogs became the lowest seed ever to reach a regional final. Gonzaga bested sixth-seeded Iowa, third-seeded UCLA and No. 7 Louisville before falling 83-60 to top-seeded Stanford — one step before the Final Four.  

 
18 of 25

The end of an era (2012)

The end of an era (2012)
Donald Page/Tennessee Athletics/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

There was a good chance Pat Summitt's reign as Tennessee coach would end following the 2011-12 season, since she was less than a year removed from revealing her diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's disease. There was much speculation following Tennessee's loss to eventual champ Baylor, the first team to go 40-0, in the regional final that Summitt, who had already handed much of the coaching duties over to longtime assistant Holly Warlick, would decide to retire from coaching the team full time. She did so officially in April 2012, thus making her last game an unceremonious affair.   

 
19 of 25

Cardinals soar to national final (2013)

Cardinals soar to national final (2013)
Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

In the women's game, it's commonplace for things to go the form of chalk. The top four seeds tend to be regular Final Four participants, but that was not the case in 2013. Seeded fifth, Louisville became the lowest seed ever to reach the national final in the tournament's history. In the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight, respectively, the Cardinals beat top-seeded Baylor and No. 2 Tennessee. They then took down second-seeded California before falling to UConn, 93-60, in the title game.

 
20 of 25

UConn wins record ninth championship (2014)

UConn wins record ninth championship (2014)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Connecticut dynasty was in full force at this time, and the 2014 victory over Notre Dame — in the first finals matchup of undefeated teams — officially solidified its place atop the women's college basketball hierarchy. With a 40-0 record and ninth national championship, the Huskies topped Tennessee for the most titles in women's NCAA Tournament history.

 
21 of 25

UConn perfect - again (2016)

UConn perfect - again (2016)
Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports

nb游戏平台It seems hard to believe that UConn's last title came four years ago. Now, that can all change this season, but the 2016 Connecticut squad, led by Breanna Stewart, claimed its record fourth consecutive national title while finishing the season 38-0. The Huskies are the last champion to finish a season undefeated, and that run will continue in 2020 as no contender who will be in this year's tournament field is without a loss.

 
22 of 25

William, Mississippi State end UConn's streak (2017)

William, Mississippi State end UConn's streak (2017)
Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports

nb游戏平台There have been plenty of memorable shots in the history of the women's NCAA Tournament, and near the top of the list has to be Morgan William's buzzer-beater for Mississippi State that ended Connecticut's ridiculous 111-game winning streak. This national semifinal thriller was tied when the to shock the Huskies, end the record streak and send the Bulldogs to the national championship game.  

 
23 of 25

Ogunbowale shoots Irish into final (2018)

Ogunbowale shoots Irish into final (2018)
Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports

Arike Ogunbowale had a Final Four to remember for Notre Dame and one that won't soon be forgotten by anybody who follows the game. It started in the national semifinal against Connecticut. With the game tied at 89 in overtime, Ogunbowale from the right wing with a UConn defender in her face and one second remaining on the clock. The stunning bucket sent the Irish to the national title game... 

 
24 of 25

One more time for fun (2018)

One more time for fun (2018)
Joe Maiorana/USA TODAY Sports

nb游戏平台... where Ogunbowale was at it again. This time, a national championship was on the line. With Mississippi State as the opponent and the game again tied with three seconds left in regulation, Ogunbowale took a side inbound pass, dribbled to the near right corner and put up a spread-legged three-pointer that snapped the net at the buzzer to give Notre Dame its first title in 17 years. It was an improbable finish to perhaps the greatest two days of college basketball ever.

 
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Bears band together for title (2019)

Bears band together for title (2019)
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

nb游戏平台For the just eighth time over a 20-year stretch, two female coaches — Baylor's Kim Mulkey and Notre Dame's Muffet McGraw — went head-to-head for a national championship. The Bears overcame the loss of star Lauren Cox to a knee injury and blowing a 17-point lead to win 82-81, thanks to . Irish star Arike Ogunbowale missed the first of two free throws, and Baylor hung on for its first title since 2012.

Jeff Mezydlo has written about sports and entertainment online and for print for more than 25 years. He grew up in the far south suburbs of Chicago, 20 minutes from the Mascot Hall of Fame in Whiting, Ind. He’s also the proud father of 11-year-old Matthew, aka “Bobby Bruin,” mascot of St. Robert Bellarmine School in Chicago. You can follow Jeff at .


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