espnW: Baylor

Titles time, anyone?

March, 28, 2014
Mar 28
Rick Pitino, Jeff WalzAndy Lyons/Getty ImagesLouisville basketball coaches Rick Pitino and Jeff Walz both led their teams to the national championship game in 2013.

We're down to 12 teams in the men's bracket and 16 teams in the women's bracket, and four schools -- Connecticut, Tennessee, Kentucky and Louisville -- still have both their men's and women's teams alive and well amid the March Madness. There have been only 10 times in the history of the NCAA tournaments that both men's and women's programs from the same school have advanced all the way to the Final Four in the same year. Here we look back at those schools and how they fared:

Louisville, 2013: Both Cardinals teams made it all the way to the championship game. The men won the national championship with an 82-76 win over Michigan, but the women lost to Connecticut 93-60.

Connecticut, 2011: The men won their third national title in program history by holding off Butler 53-41 in the final, but the women were ousted in the semifinals by then-Big East rival and national runner-up Notre Dame 72-63.

Connecticut, 2009: The women won their sixth national title with a 76-54 rout over Louisville in the final. The men, however, fell to Michigan State 82-73 in the semifinals.

LSU, 2006: Neither team advanced to the final. The men fell to runner-up UCLA 59-45 and the women were ousted by runner-up Duke 64-45.

Michigan State, 2005: The women made it to the final but fell short, losing to Baylor 84-62. The men lost in the semifinals to eventual champion North Carolina, 87-71.

Connecticut, 2004: Connecticut became the only school to celebrate men's and women's basketball national championships in the same year. Led by Most Outstanding Player Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon, the men beat Georgia Tech 82-73 in the final. Led by Diana Taurasi, the women topped rival Tennessee 70-61 to claim their third consecutive national championship.

Texas, 2003: Neither Longhorns squad advanced to the final and both lost to the eventual national champion. The men fell to Syracuse and Carmelo Anthony 94-84 in the semis, and the women were edged by Connecticut 71-69.

Oklahoma, 2002: The women advanced to the national championship game, but fell to UConn 82-70. The men were ousted in the semifinals by national runner-up Indiana, 73-64.

Duke, 1999: Both teams came up one win short of a national title. The men fell to Connecticut 77-74 in the national championship game, and the women lost to Purdue, 62-45, in the final.

Georgia, 1983: Both programs' runs came to an end in the national semifinals. The men lost 67-60 to Jim Valvano's NC State, the eventual national champions. The women fell to eventual champion USC and Cheryl Miller, 87-51.

Kim Mulkey late and great

March, 24, 2014
Mar 24
Kim MulkeyAP Photo/Michael ConroyBaylor coach Kim Mulkey has won a total of four national titles as a head coach, assistant and player.

She's late to the dance, and history could be waiting. Baylor coach Kim Mulkey, who served an NCAA suspension in the Lady Bears' 87-74 first-round victory over Western Kentucky on Saturday, will be making her 2014 NCAA tournament debut tonight when second-seeded Baylor takes on Cal in the second round (8 p.m. ET on ESPN2/Watch ESPN) with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line. Mulkey is the only person in the history of the NCAA women's basketball tournament who has won a national championship as both a player and a head coach. Mulkey was a member of the 1982 Louisiana Tech squad, winner of the inaugural NCAA title, and has coached Baylor to championships in 2005 and 2012. Three people have achieved this feat on the men's side -- Bobby Knight (Ohio State, Indiana), Dean Smith (Kansas, North Carolina) and Joe B. Hall (Kentucky). Among the elite group, Mulkey is the only one who has also won a national title as an assistant (Louisiana Tech, 1988). Mulkey, who served the one-game suspension for criticizing officials after the then-defending national champion Lady Bears lost to Louisville in a Sweet 16 game last March, is trying to make more history as just the third women's head coach to win three or more NCAA championships.

7 fast facts for UConn-Baylor

January, 13, 2014
Jan 13
Kim Mulkey, Geno AuriemmaAP Photo/Jessica HillGeno Auriemma has an 856-133 record in his 29th season at UConn, and Kim Mulkey is 386-82 in her 14th season at Baylor.

No. 7 Baylor puts its 69-game home winning streak on the line tonight (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2 and WatchESPN) in Waco against top-ranked UConn. Here are some fast facts about the rivalry, which is 2-2 all-time:

1. The Huskies won the first meeting, 70-50, in a 2010 Final Four semifinal. It remains their only postseason matchup.

2. UConn’s 65-64 win over Baylor on Nov. 16, 2010, was the team’s 80th straight victory. The Huskies went on to win a record 90 consecutive games, surpassing the UCLA men’s team’s 88-game streak.

3. The Lady Bears have won the last two showdowns -- on Dec. 18, 2011, and Feb. 18, 2013 -- by a combined 11 points.

4. This is the Huskies' second trip to Waco, they are 0-1 at Ferrell Center.

5. During the 2013 meeting, former Baylor standout Brittney Griner reached the 3,000 career-points milestone and had 25 points on the night.

6. Former UConn star and reigning WNBA Finals MVP Maya Moore’s 34 points in the 2010 Final Four game are a series record.

7. The 2013 meeting took place in front of a sellout crowd of 16,294 at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn.

Conference Call

December, 27, 2013
UConn MascotCal Sport MediaJonathan the Husky looks pretty excited about the upcoming women's basketball schedule.

This weekend largely marks the end of the nonconference portion of the women’s basketball season. And while matchups like UConn-Stanford, UConn-Duke and Tennessee-Stanford were a great way to tip off the season, here are our elite eight conference games before March that we can’t wait to see.

Jan. 5: Maryland at North Carolina, ESPNU
Jan. 27: Notre Dame at Maryland, ESPN2
Feb. 2: Notre Dame at Duke, ESPN
Feb. 2: Stanford at Cal, ESPN2
Feb. 9: Louisville at UConn, ESPN
Feb. 10: North Carolina at Duke, ESPN2
Feb. 16: Kentucky at Tennessee, ESPN
Feb. 23: Duke at Notre Dame, ESPN

But if you just can’t get enough of the nonconference showdowns, there are two more next month that are perfectly acceptable to start popping the popcorn for.

Jan. 13: UConn at Baylor, ESPN2
Jan. 20: Notre Dame at Tennessee, ESPN2

Kim Mulkey knows the repeat ropes

March, 18, 2013
AP Photo/LM OteroKim Mulkey will try to show Brittney Griner and Odyssey Sims the way to a repeat national championship.
Reigning NCAA women’s basketball champion Baylor finds out the path it will have to successfully navigate in its quest to win a second straight national title Monday night when the brackets are unveiled. The Lady Bears are looking to become the sixth team to repeat as national champions, following Connecticut (2009-2010), Tennessee (2007-08) and USC (1983-84) as well as threepeat winners Connecticut (2002-04) and Tennessee (1996-98). Bears coach Kim Mulkey is no stranger to defending national titles. As a freshman at Louisiana Tech, she won the AIAW title in 1981 and then went on to win the first NCAA title as a sophomore in 1982.

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