|2008 NCAA Division I|
Women's Basketball Tournament
2008 Women's Final Four logo
|Finals site||St. Pete Times Forum|
|Champions||Tennessee Volunteers (8th title)|
|Runner-up||Stanford Cardinal (3rd title game)|
|Winning coach||Pat Summitt (8th title)|
|Top scorer||Candice Wiggins Stanford|
The 2008 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament involved 64 teams playing in a single-elimination tournament to determine the 2007-08 national champion of women's NCAA Division I college basketball. It commenced on March 22, 2008, and concluded when the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers defeated the Stanford University Cardinal 64-48 on April 8, 2008 at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.
The preliminary rounds largely followed the seeding, with every number one and number two seed advancing to the regional finals. In the Greensboro and Oklahoma City Regionals, the top seeds Connecticut and Tennessee won respectively to head to the Final Four. Connecticut had to beat Big East rival Rutgers to make the advance. Tennessee' Candace Parker was injured in the game against Texas A&M and had to leave twice, and be fitted with a sleeve to stabilize her shoulder. She still scored 26 points in a game which was won by only eight.
In the other two regionals, the two seeds prevailed. In the New Orleans Regional, LSU beat North Carolina to reach the Final Four for the fifth consecutive time, tying a record set by Connecticut between 2000 and 2004. In the Spokane Regional, Stanford beat the top seed Maryland to go to their first Final Four since 1997, but one that would be the first of a five-year string of consecutive Final Four appearances.
Connecticut and Stanford met in one semifinal. They had played each other earlier in the season at the Paradise Jam held in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands in November. The Huskies had won that game 66-54, but the team had been at full strength. Subsequent to that game Mel Thomas and Kalana Greene both starters, had season ending injuries. Connecticut cut a Stanford lead to a single point, 47-46 when Candice Wiggins hit two three-pointers to start a 10-0 run. Wiggins would go on to score 25 points in the game and would be named the Women's Basketball Coaches Association national player of the year. The Cardinal went on to win the game, and advance to the national championship.
The game between SEC foes Tennessee and LSU didn't win style points, and was described by the New York Times as "one of the ugliest games played this or any season". Tennessee led early opening up a ten-point lead at 37-27, but LSU responded with a 10-0 run to tie the game. With seconds left in the game LSU hit two free throws to take a one-point lead. Tennessee inbounded the ball to Candace Parker who passed it inside to Nicky Anosike, but her shot was deflected to Alexis Hornbuckle, who had missed seven of her field goal attempts. With under one second remaining, Hornhuckle caught the deflection and hit the winning basket. The Lady Vols won 47-46, as the two teams combined scores set an NCAA record for the fewest points scored in a semifinal game.
LSU fell to 0-5 in the Women's Final Four. Combined with the 0-6 mark of the men's team, LSU's 0-11 all-time combined Final Four mark is the worst for schools which have made multiple appearances in both the men's and women's Final Fours.
After the drama of a one-point game in the semifinal, the final game was anti-climactic. The Lady Vols pulled out to a 30-19 lead, and the Stanford Cardinal were unable to close the gap. The win gave Tennessee their second consecutive national championship and a career total of 982 wins, the most of any coach in basketball, men's or women's, along with eight national championships for coach Pat Summitt.
Once again, the system was the same as the Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, with the exception that only 64 teams received bids, and there was no play-in game. Automatic bids were secured by 31 conference champions and 33 at-large bids.
The subregionals, which once again used the "pod system", keeping most teams at or close to the home cities, were held from March 22 to March 25 at these locations:
This was the fourth and final year that eight sites hosted subregional games. The committee, in September 2007, voted to return to the 16-site format for the early rounds starting with the 2009 tournament.
The regions (once again named after the host cities, a practice begun in 2005) were held from March 29 to April 1 in the following regions:
The regional winners advanced to the Final Four, held April 6 and 8, 2008 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, in Tampa, Florida, hosted by the University of South Florida. USF and the Tampa Bay Times Forum also hosted a first and second round Men's Tournament subregional on March 21 and 23. Also, akin to the men's tournament, at the regional sites, the NCAA installed floors that were custom made for the first time.
Sixty-four teams were selected to participate in the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Thirty-one conferences were eligible for an automatic bid to the 2008 NCAA tournament. Of these thirty-one automatic bids, a total of 30 teams receive automatic bids for winning their conference tournament championship. The Ivy League does not hold a tournament, so its regular season champion receives the automatic bid. Because Cornell, Dartmouth, and Harvard finished in a tie for first place, Ivy League rules called for a two-game stepladder playoff. Dartmouth defeated Harvard in the first game and went on to face Cornell for the automatic bid, which Cornell won 64-47.
|Bucknell University||Patriot League||16-15||8-6||16|
|University of Tennessee at Chattanooga||Southern Conference||29-3||18-0||12|
|Cleveland State University||Horizon League||19-13||10-8||15|
|University of Connecticut||Big East||32-1||15-1||1|
|Coppin State University||MEAC||22-11||13-3||16|
|Cornell University||Ivy League||20-8||11-3||16|
|East Tennessee State University||Atlantic Sun Conference||21-11||14-2||14|
|California State University, Fresno||WAC||22-10||14-2||14|
|University of Hartford||America East||27-5||14-2||10|
|Illinois State University||Missouri Valley Conference||26-6||13-5||13|
|Jackson State University||SWAC||18-13||13-5||15|
|Liberty University||Big South Conference||28-3||11-1||12|
|University of Montana||Big Sky Conference||25-6||13-3||13|
|Murray State University||Ohio Valley Conference||24-7||15-5||14|
|University of New Mexico||Mountain West||20-12||9-7||12|
|University of North Carolina||ACC||30-2||14-0||1|
|Old Dominion University||Colonial||29-4||17-1||5|
|Oral Roberts University||Summit League||19-13||10-8||16|
|Purdue University||Big Ten||18-14||11-7||9|
|Robert Morris University||Northeast Conference||23-9||16-2||15|
|University of San Diego||West Coast Conference||19-12||7-7||14|
|Southern Methodist University||Conference USA||24-8||11-5||12|
|University of Tennessee||SEC||30-2||13-1||1|
|Texas A&M University||Big XII Conference||26-7||11-5||2|
|University of California, Santa Barbara||Big West Conference||23-7||15-1||13|
|University of Texas at San Antonio||Southland||23-9||12-4||15|
|Western Kentucky University||Sun Belt Conference||26-7||16-2||10|
|Xavier University||Atlantic 10||24-8||11-3||9|
Thirty-three additional teams were selected to complete the sixty-four invitations.
|Arizona State University||Pacific-10||21-10||14-4||6|
|Baylor University||Big 12||24-6||12-4||3|
|University of California, Berkeley||Pacific-10||26-6||15-3||3|
|DePaul University||Big East||20-11||8-8||10|
|Duke University||Atlantic Coast||23-9||10-4||3|
|Florida State University||Atlantic Coast||18-13||7-7||11|
|The George Washington University||Atlantic 10||25-6||12-2||6|
|University of Georgia||Southeastern||22-9||8-6||8|
|Georgia Institute of Technology||Atlantic Coast||22-9||7-7||10|
|University of Iowa||Big Ten||21-10||13-5||9|
|Iowa State University||Big 12||20-12||7-9||7|
|Kansas State University||Big 12||21-9||13-3||5|
|University of Louisville||Big East||24-9||10-6||4|
|Louisiana State University||Southeastern||27-5||14-0||2|
|University of Maryland, College Park||Atlantic Coast||30-3||13-1||1|
|University of Minnesota||Big Ten||20-11||11-7||9|
|University of Nebraska-Lincoln||Big 12||20-11||9-7||8|
|University of Notre Dame||Big East||23-8||11-5||5|
|Ohio State University||Big Ten||22-8||13-5||6|
|University of Oklahoma||Big 12||21-8||11-5||4|
|Oklahoma State University-Stillwater||Big 12||25-7||11-5||3|
|University of Pittsburgh||Big East||22-10||10-6||6|
|Rutgers University||Big East||24-6||14-2||2|
|Syracuse University||Big East||22-8||10-6||7|
|Temple University||Atlantic 10||21-12||12-2||11|
|University of Texas at Austin||Big 12||21-12||7-9||8|
|University of Utah||Mountain West||27-4||16-0||8|
|University of Texas at El Paso||Conference USA||27-3||16-0||7|
|University of Virginia||Atlantic Coast||23-9||10-4||4|
|West Virginia University||Big East||24-7||12-4||5|
|University of Wyoming||Mountain West||24-6||12-4||11|
Thirty-one conferences earned an automatic bid. In twenty-two cases, the automatic bid was the only representative from the conference. Thirty-three additional at-large teams were selected from nine of the conferences.
|8||Big 12||Texas A&M, Baylor, Iowa St., Kansas St., Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Texas|
|8||Big East||Connecticut, DePaul, Louisville, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, West Virginia|
|6||Atlantic Coast||North Carolina, Duke, Florida St., Georgia Tech, Maryland., Virginia|
|5||Southeastern||Tennessee, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Vanderbilt|
|4||Big Ten||Purdue, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio St.|
|3||Atlantic 10||Xavier, George Washington, Temple|
|3||Mountain West||New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming|
|3||Pacific-10||Stanford, Arizona St., California|
|2||Conference USA||SMU, UTEP|
|1||Atlantic Sun||East Tenn. St.|
|1||Big West||UC Santa Barb.|
|1||Missouri Valley||Illinois St.|
|1||Ohio Valley||Murray St.|
|1||Sun Belt||Western K?.|
|1||West Coast||San Diego|
|1||Western Athletic||Fresno St.|
The sixty-four teams came from thirty states, plus Washington, D.C. Texas had the most teams with six bids. Twenty states did not have any teams receiving bids.
|6||Texas||SMU, Texas A&M, UTSA, Baylor, Texas, UTEP|
|5||California||Fresno St., San Diego, Stanford, UC Santa Barb., California|
|4||Ohio||Cleveland St., Miami Ohio, Xavier, Ohio St.|
|4||Pennsylvania||Bucknell, Robert Morris, Pittsburgh, Temple|
|4||Tennessee||Chattanooga, East Tenn. St., Tennessee, Vanderbilt|
|3||Kentucky||Murray St., Western K?., Louisville|
|3||New York||Cornell, Marist, Syracuse|
|3||Oklahoma||Oral Roberts, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St.|
|3||Virginia||Liberty, Old Dominion, Virginia|
|2||Georgia||Georgia, Georgia Tech|
|2||Illinois||Illinois St., DePaul|
|2||Indiana||Purdue, Notre Dame|
|2||Iowa||Iowa, Iowa St.|
|2||Maryland||Coppin St., Maryland.|
|2||North Carolina||North Carolina, Duke|
|1||District of Columbia||George Washington|
|1||New Mexico||New Mexico|
|1||West Virginia||West Virginia|
NOTE: All initials used are the same in the official NCAA Bracket in External Links listed below.
|13||UC Santa Barbara||52|
|Des Moines, Iowa|
|College Park, Maryland|
|Albuquerque, New Mexico|
|Albuquerque, New Mexico|
|Des Moines, Iowa|
|14||East Tenn. St.||73|
|Baton Rouge, Louisiana|
|West Lafayette, Indiana|
|West Lafayette, Indiana|
|College Park, Maryland|
|Baton Rouge, Louisiana|
Initials: GRE-Greensboro; SPO-Spokane; NOR-New Orleans; OKC-Oklahoma City.
* - Denotes overtime period
Nineteen conferences -- Atlantic Sun Conference, Big Sky Conference, Big South Conference, Big West Conference, Horizon League, Ivy League, MAC, MEAC, Missouri Valley Conference, Northeast Conference, Ohio Valley Conference, Patriot League, Southern Conference, Southland, SWAC, Sun Belt Conference, Summit League, WAC and West Coast Conference -- went 0-1.