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Wayne Staats | | February 2, 2022

These women's basketball teams have been a No. 1 seed the most times

Recap: No. 1 Stanford wins third NCAA title by beating No. 3 Arizona in thriller

Through the 2021 NCAA women's basketball tournament, there have been 156 No. 1 seeds. That's from 39 tournaments going back to the inaugural 1982 edition.

Thirty-three different schools have claimed a top seed, from Louisiana Tech and Cheyney State to, yes, UConn and Tennessee. Only four programs have been a No. 1 seed double-digit times, while at the other end, seven schools have been No. 1 only once.

Here are all the teams with appearances as a No. 1 seed:

Team Times No. 1 Most Recent No. 1
Tennessee 22 2014
UConn 22 2021
Stanford 11 2021
Louisiana Tech 10 2000
Notre Dame 9 2019
Duke 7 2009
Baylor 6 2019
North Carolina 5 2008
Old Dominion 5 1998
South Carolina 5 2021
Texas 5 2004
Georgia 4 2000
Maryland 4 2015
Southern California 4 1986
Auburn 3 1989
Long Beach State 3 1987
LSU 3 2006
Penn State 3 2004
Vanderbilt 3 2002
Virginia 3 1992
Iowa 2 1992
Louisville 2 2019
Mississippi State 2 2019
Ohio State 2 2006
Oklahoma 2 2009
Purdue 2 1999
Cheyney State 1 1983
Colorado 1 1995
Michigan State 1 2005
NC State 1 2021
Nebraska 1 2010
Texas Tech 1 1998
Washington 1 1990

WINNING IT ALL: The complete list of DI women's basketball champions

Not surprisingly, UConn and Tennessee stand way out in front. The 11-time national champion Huskies and coach Geno Auriemma were a No. 1 every season from 2007 through 2018. That's right: 12 consecutive years as a No. 1 seed.

Tennessee hasn't been a top seed since 2014, but the Lady Vols still match UConn with 22 times. Tennessee was a No. 1 every season from 1998 through 1996, good for a nine-year run that included three national crowns. Overall, Tennessee has eight NCAA tournament titles.

Last season, NC State made program history by claiming a top seed for the first time. The Wolfpack picked up No. 2 seeds three previous times (1989-1991) but a 20-2 mark in 2020-21 combined with an ACC tournament championship pushed NC State to the top line.

BRAGGING RIGHTS: Teams with the most national championships

How do No. 1 seeds do in the tournament?

A top seed isn't a guarantee of a deep run — 1998 Harvard says hello — but No. 1 seeds are by far the most successful. Thirty of of the 39 champs came from the top line, with 2020-21 Stanford the most recent.

At least one No. 1 seed has made every Final Four, with No. 1s going 4-for-4 in making the national semifinals four times: 1989, 2012, 2015 and 2018. All four almost made it in 2021, with No. 1 NC State falling short in the Sweet 16 of joining Stanford, South Carolina and UConn in the Final Four.

Perhaps even more impressively, only seven No. 1 seeds have failed to reach at least the Sweet 16. Duke in 2009 is the most recent top seed to bow out before the regional semifinals.

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