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Top NCAA Womens Basketball Program

Pat Summitt Retires

The University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers is the top NCAA womens basketball program in the history of collegiate women's basketball.

First, if you look just at SEC Women's Basketball, you will find that, historically, there really isn't any other women's basketball team even close. Tennessee has won 8 national titles. No other SEC program has ever won one. Tennessee has won 13 SEC regular season championships. The remainder of the SEC teams have won 14 combined. Tennessee has won 11 SEC Tournament Championships. Nearly 3 times the next team.

UT Lady Vols Championship Banners

Quite possibly the most telling stat of all is the comparison of all-time winning percentages. The University of Georgia has an all-time SEC record of 178-79, for an impressive winning percentage of .693. That is dwarfed by nearly .200 percentage points by the University of Tennessee, who sport a sizzling all-time winning percentage of .886 behind an all-time SEC record of 240-31.

So, no sane basketball observer disputes that the Tennessee Lady Vols have the best SEC women's basketball program. Now, and all-time.

But, why do we say they are the best in all of college basketball? Really, the answer to that question can be found at Pat Summitt Biography. Summitt coached her entire career at Tennessee and has more wins, national championships, trips to the Final Four, consecutive trips to the Sweet 16 -- than anyone else in women's college basketball -- and the list goes on and on. [Read more at Best Coach Ever.]

The Lady Vols basketball program came into existence in the early part of the 20th Century; however the sport was dropped in 1926 and did not return until 1969. After a few seasons of increasing success, the Lady Vols hired a new coach in 1974, a young 22 year old former women's basketball star named Pat Summitt. The Summitt era has been ongoing ever since.

After leading the Lady Vols to a 16-8 mark in her inaugural season as Head Coach. Summitt quickly elevated the team, leading the Lady Vols to the Final Four in only her 3rd season, following a 28-5 campaign in 1976-77. That season kicked off a 10 year run that included 7 Final Four appearances and which culminated, in 1986-1987, with the Lady Vols First National Championship under Head Coach Pat Summitt.

The Lady Vols went on to win National Championships in 2 of the next 4 seasons and then, in the mid-1990's, went on a run of three straight national titles. The University of Tennessee's most recent National Championship came each of the past two seasons (2007 and 2008).

Summitt's Vols now have 8 NCAA Championships. They also have finished second 5 times. The only contender for the top Women's B-ball program is UCONN. Connecticut has 5 NC's (4 times beating Tennessee), but no second place finishes and not nearly as many "Final Four" appearances (Tenn. has 18) or all-time wins. Other than UT and UCONN, no other NCAA women's basketball program has more than 2 National Championship titles. Check out this book from Amazon about the awesome TENN - UCONN rivalry.

Pat Summitt 8 NCAA Championships

All told, during the Summitt era, the Lady Vols have won 14 Southeastern Conference regular season championships, and 13 Southeastern Conference Tournament Championships. During the Summitt era, the Lady Vols have a cumulative record of 983-182.

The University of Tennessee Lady Vols have seen a number of stars pass through during the past 30 years. These include Chamique Holdsclaw, who is considered by many to be the greatest player in the history of womens college basketball, Candace Parker, Tamika Catchings, Kara Lawson, Dena Head, Bridgette Gordon, Daedra Charles, Holly Warlick, Nikki McCray, and Semeka Randall.

The Lady Vols play their home games in the Thompson-Boling Arena, in Knoxville Tennessee. That arena has a capacity of 24,535. The team previously played their home games at the Stokely Athletic Center (capacity 12,700), which is still in use for some smaller sports such as volleyball.

To read more about the Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team, go to Tennessee Lady Vols Basketball.

For other "best all-time college sports programs" visit the following pages:

Top NCAA Womens Basketball Program
Top NCAA Womens Basketball Program
Top NCAA Womens Basketball Program

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