Men's and Women's National Basketball Championships

Women's Final Four

Connecticut (33-0)

Coach: Geno Auriemma

As the country's best offensive team, UConn dominated its opponents, never winning by less than 10 points during the regular season. There's seldom an easy game upon reaching the Final Four, though. UConn has done that only once before, in 1991.

Georgia (28-4)

Coach: Andy Landers

Georgia's sophomore-laden roster may be a year or two away from the school's first basketball championship. But being an underdog sometimes has its rewards. These are seasoned hands, too, since four of the sophomores were starters a year ago.

Stanford (30-2)

Coach: Tara VanDerveer

Stanford has become the Duke University of women's college basketball by taking a respected coach, the school's academic cachet, and a commitment to big-time athletics to build a strong program. The team features freshman star Kristin Folkl, who led Stanford to a national volleyball title in December.

Tennessee (33-2)

Coach: Pat Summitt

Tennessee has emerged as the most consistently powerful team in women's basketball under former Olympic coach Pat Summitt. The Lady Volunteers are the only Final Four members to have played the other three this season, losing to Connecticut but handily beating Georgia and Stanford.

Men's Final Four

Arkansas (31-6)

Coach: Nolan Richardson

The team that bears the Oval Office's endorsement also is the defending national champion, a fact that some forgot when the Razorbacks opened the season with a 24-point loss to Massachusetts. Everybody took aim at Arkansas, and the five returning starters didn't always respond well. The old tenacity, however, has reemerged during a postseason run that began with a one-point win over Texas Southern followed by overtime squeakers against Syracuse and Memphis.

North Carolina (28-5)

Coach: Dean Smith

During his 34 years with the Tar Heels, Coach Dean Smith has practically made Carolina blue the official Final Four color. As usual, talents like Jerry Stackhouse and Rasheed Wallace conform nicely to Smith's team-is-all philosophy.

Oklahoma State (27-9)

Coach: Eddie Sutton

These Cowboys wear Cinderella sneakers. Their coach played at Oklahoma State (the former Oklahoma A&M) in the 1950s under the legendary Henry Iba. Sutton has turned what for many years was a sow's ear back into a silk purse.

UCLA (29-2)

Coach: Jim Harrick

The top-ranked Bruins are making their first Final Four appearance since 1980. That team lost to Louisville in the final, but this year's squad hopes to rekindle the winning tradition established under John Wooden, who won 10 titles before retiring in 1975.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.