espnW: Nashville

Flashing back to first Final Four

April, 3, 2014
Must-See Events of 2014Frederick Breedon/Getty ImagesCapacity crowds are expected for both sessions of the women's Final Four starting this weekend at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

One of the teams is the same, but the numbers are vastly different from 33 years ago. With Maryland, Stanford, Connecticut and Notre Dame set to open the women's Final Four on Sunday, we flash back to the women's first Final Four in 1982 to see how times have changed. With a 32-team bracket in 1982, Maryland (back in 2014 for its fourth Final Four), Louisiana Tech, Tennessee and Cheyney State -- a small, historically black college outside of Philadelphia coached by C. Vivian Stringer -- advanced to the Final Four in Nofolk, Va. A crowd of 6,000 attended the semifinals, and 9,531 were in attendance to watch Louisiana Tech, which featured All-American point guard Kim Mulkey, defeat Cheney 76-62 in the title game. Tickets for the weekend ranged from $5-$7 and 37 media credentials were granted. With tickets already sold out for both sessions of the 2014 Final Four, the semifinals and championship are expected to draw capacity crowds of nearly 20,000 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. The price of tickets for both Sunday and Tuesday range from $170-$915, and remain higher on the secondary market. An exact tally of media credentials has yet to be released, but the record for most ever was set in Philadelphia in 2000, with a whooping 692 members of the media covering the event.

Perfectly Prepared

March, 18, 2014
Geno Auriemma, Muffet McGrawAP Photo/Joe RaymondUConn coach Geno Auriemma and Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw are both looking for a perfect season and a national championship.

With UConn and Notre Dame both boasting perfect records heading into the NCAA tournament, 2014 goes down in history as just the second time two schools enter the women's tournament unbeaten. In 1998, Tennessee (33-0) and Liberty (28-0) put their unblemished records on the line in the tournament but met in the first round. Tennessee dominated No. 16 Liberty with a 102-58 rout to advance and went on to complete its perfect season with a sixth national championship. UConn (34-0) and Notre Dame (32-0), on the other hand, can't meet until the April 8 final in Nashville. UConn is looking for its fifth undefeated season (1995, 2002, 2009 and 2010) and ninth NCAA title while Notre Dame seeks its first perfect season and second title (2001).