Kim Mulkey's Baylor Lady Bears may have beaten Megan Gustafson's Iowa Hawkeyes in the Elite Eight, but they shared something in common on Thursday in Tampa, Florida.
The Associated Press honored the pair, naming Mulkey its Coach of the Year and Gustafson its Player of the Year for women's basketball.
It's the second time that the AP has given Mulkey the award. Currently in her 19th season leading the Baylor Lady Bears, Mulkey is coaching in the Final Four for the fourth time. Baylor has a 35-1 record this season and has the nation's seventh best scoring offense. They Lady Bears won their 10th Big 12 tournament title this year too. On Friday, Mulkey's side will face Oregon in the Final Four.
Gustafson, a 6-foot-3 senior forward, led the nation in scoring with 27.8 points per-game. She was also third in rebounding, corralling 13.4 boards per-game. Gustafson's stellar play led the Hawkeyes to their first Elite Eight appearance since 1993. A Wisconsin native, she is the two-time reigning Big Ten Player of the Year. She also tied the NCAA record for double-doubles in a season with 33.
A panel of 28 media members voted on the AP awards. Gustafson received 15 votes, Sabrina Ionescu of Oregon got seven votes and Napheesa Collier of UConn had three. Asia Durr of Louisville had two votes and Teaira McCowan of Mississippi State received one.
For the Coach of the Year award, Mulkey received 17 votes, while N.C. State's Wes Moore and Vic Schaefer of Mississippi State each received five votes. Lisa Bluder of Iowa had one vote. Mulkey last won the award in 2012.