Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Guru's Musings: Some Final Four Trivia On The Final Four

By Mel Greenberg

Since the major opus on reaching the Final Four is over at fullcourt.com when it posts early Wednesday morning, here’s some other facts in terms of the four No. 1 teams making the Women’s Final Four in Denver.

In terms of all-time appearances in the AP women’s poll, Stanford is first among the four teams with 417 but fifth on the overall list; Connecticut is second at 386, and sixth overall; Notre Dame is third at 235 and 21st overall while Baylor is third and 26th overall at 204.

Most times No. 1, Connecticut is first in the group and first overall at 156; Baylor is second in the group and sixth overall at 26, most of which was acquired this season; Stanford is third and 13th overall at nine, while Notre Dame is fourth and 21st overall out of 22 to reach the top with a total of five.

As for being in the Top 5, Connecticut is again first in the group and second overall at 294; Stanford is third and fourth overall at 205; Baylor and Notre Dame are tied for third at 62 and 14th overall.

But in the decade beginning the first week of Janunary 2010, Connecticut is first at 49, which is perfect attendance; Stanford is second at 47; Baylor is third at 39; while Notre Dame is fourth in the group and fifth overall at 26, which is three behind Tennessee’s 29.

In Top 10 appearances, Connecticut is first in the group and third overall at 338, which is just ahead of Stanford at second in the group and fourth overall at 332; Baylor is third in the group and tied for 20th all-time with Ohio State at 132; while Notre Dame is fourth in the group and 22nd right behind at 125.

Within the decade appearing in the Top 10, Connecticut and Stanford are tied with perfect attendance at the top at 49, and are joined overall by Duke, which also has perfect Top 10 attendance in the decade; Baylor, third in the group, is fifth overall at 41 and Notre Dame is right behind in fourth but sixth overall at 38.

Turning 40

The Guru tweeted this earlier but for those of you yet to follow @womhoopsguru – appreciate the recent surge over 1,400 by the way – though there is much talk that Baylor could finish unbeaten at 40-0 becoming the first men’s or women’s team in the NCAA to get 40 wins, for those such as the Guru who thought he had seen 40 once before, technically twice, but that’s another story, it turns out it is true.

Confirmed by Guru associate Malcolm Butler at Louisiana Tech, the Techsters went 40-5 in 1979-80, though that year Old Dominion won its second straight national title under the former Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW).

The next year, a talented guard out of Hammond, La., began her all-American Techsters career as a freshman. Her name: Today you know her as Baylor coach Kim Mulkey.

How Many Games On The Road To Denver?

So at the beginning of the year a few weeks before the opening tip, the Guru had lunch, quite good by the way, with the Delaware coaching staff in Newark and the question was put to the Guru how many games would he see in a particular season.

The mileage covers all forms of transportation and the games count as each so a doubleheader day was two games. Not counting are several Penn men’s games to just observe and a few assigned Drexel men’s games.

Also two games not seen were the title rounds in Bridgeport, Conn., and in Kingston, R.I. Also, the Guru did not see opening day CAA, which was four games and didn’t get to quarters until the Drexel nightcap, which means three more that could have been in the count but is not.

So heading into the Denver weekend, the grand total is 114 games over a distance of 8,340 miles that include New Jersey Transit, Metro North, the NY subway system, brief as it was and green as it was on Notre Dame, er, St. Patrick’s Day, and the Long Island Railroad to Hofstra, though one trip featured the kindliness of the Wilmington News Journal’s Kevin Tresolini, who transported the Guru back to his car from Hofstra to Hamilton, N.J., above Trenton, where some of you will be at next season’s regional.

So since the Guru is still dealing on USBWA matters, some of which will become public Wednesday, time to go until the next tweets and blog posts.

-- Mel

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