Perfection is rarely achieved in sports. When it does happen it should be recognized and celebrated. In the last 40 years of DI women’s basketball, only nine teams have finished the season as undefeated champions.
While there have been nine individual instances of undefeated seasons, there are only four programs to record a perfect season: Baylor, UConn, Tennessee and Texas. UConn has six undefeated seasons while Baylor, Tennessee and Texas all have one.
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Here’s a look at all nine of those historic teams:
1985-86 Texas Longhorns (34-0)
Texas became the fifth national champion in DI women’s basketball history in 1986 — and the first to finish a season undefeated.
The Longhorns averaged 83.9 points per game in the final season without the three-point line for DI women's basketball. They had four players finish with over 10 points per game. One player, Clarissa Davis, played in all 34 games but only started five. Davis shot 66% from the field (99-150) along with a team leading 262 rebounds and 23 blocks.
In the tournament, Texas cruised through its first two games winning by 41 and then 26, had a scare in the regional finals, dominated in the national semifinal against No. 4-seed Western Kentucky, winning 90-65, and beat Southern California by 16-points in the national championship.
After winning it all, head coach Jody Conradt had this to say about her team’s historic feat:
"The first thought was perfection. There will be a champion crowned every year, but the undefeated champions will form an elite group."
1994-95 UConn Huskies (35-0)
That elite group would only continue to grow as Geno Auriemma’s UConn Huskies started to hit their stride. This was the program’s first national championship and it sure was a memorable one, as the Huskies were the second team to go undefeated.
Rebecca Lobo was a huge factor on the 1994-95 team. As a senior, Lobo averaged 17.1 points per game, a 50% field goal percentage, and a 35.3% three-point percentage.
The Huskies made quick work of all their opponents in the 1995 tournament. UConn had an average margin of victory of 25.3. The closest game for that team came against No. 3-seed Virginia, who lost by four to the Huskies.
UConn had to face Tennessee in the national championship game; this was the second time this season the two faced one another with the Huskies getting the best of the Lady Vols both times.
1997-98 Tennessee Lady Volunteers (39-0)
Tennessee would use that loss in the 1995 title game as fuel for three straight championships in 1996-98. The 1998 edition of the Lady Volunteers became the first Pat Summitt team to go undefeated.
The combination of Chamique Holdsclaw and Tamika Catchings was dangerous. Holdsclaw ended up winning nearly every player of the year award and Catchings was also an All American. The duo combined for over 41 points per game.
Following the lead of the first two undefeated champs, Tennessee dominated each round. Funny enough, Tennessee (1998), UConn (1995) and Texas (1986) all had single-digit wins in the regional semifinals. The Lady Vols capped off their run with a 93-75 win over Louisiana Tech in the national championship.
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2001-02 UConn Huskies (39-0)
At the start of the millennium, UConn won two of the first three national titles (2000, ‘02). The second one made the Huskies the first program to have two undefeated national championship seasons.
This Huskies team was star studded. With Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Swin Cash, Tamika Williams and Asjha Jones all leading the way. The five of them averaged over 10 points a game that season. They set the NCAA single-season record for margin of victory (35.4).
The big wins from the regular season continued in the NCAA tournament. 2002 turned out to be the start of a run of dominance over Tennessee. The Huskies beat the Lady Vols earlier in 2002 and then later on in the Final Four, en route to beating Oklahoma in the title game.
2008-09 UConn Huskies (39-0)
Just as fast as UConn became the first program to have two undefeated championship seasons, the Huskies completed their third undefeated season in 2009.
Just like 2002’s team, the 2009 Huskies had some superstars. Maya Moore, Renee Montgomery and Tina Charles worked together to average over 50 points per game as a group.
The Huskies were never really met with any close games. The tightest game was a 10-point win in the final game of the regular season at Rutgers. Every game in the tournament wasn’t really close either; UConn took down Louisville by 22 points to claim its sixth title in program history.
2009-10 UConn Huskies (39-0)
The 2008-09 season was just the start of a historic run for the Huskies. In 2009-10, UConn completed its second-straight undefeated season. Auriemma’s squads won 78 games over the course of those two seasons. It even carried over into the 2010-11 season, but ended at 90.
Eight players from the previous perfect season returned to continue the streak. Tina Charles, Maya Moore and Kalana Greene were a few of the leaders on this season’s team.
When a program has established itself to the level that UConn did, the Huskies would be getting every team’s best shot. It wasn’t as much of an issue in the regular season. The Huskies held teams to under 50 points more often than not.
The postseason did bring some close games, however. In the Big East tournament, the Huskies were held to 60 or less twice, but they prevailed with solid defense. In the national title game, Stanford almost caught UConn, but fell short 53-47.
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2011-12 Baylor Bears (40-0)
A new member of the undefeated club broke through in 2012 when Kim Mulkey’s Baylor Bears became the first team to go 40-0.
Brittney Griner and Odyssey Sims were the headliners of the program’s second national title. Griner had 160 blocks that season (the following year she set the record for most career blocks in NCAA history with 748).
Baylor had nine top-25 wins in the regular season, and then went on to beat a No. 2 seed and two No. 1s to win the national title. Griner recorded her fourth double-double of the tournament as the Bears beat Notre Dame, 80-61.
2013-14 UConn Huskies (40-0)
Not to be shown up by Baylor’s 40-win season, UConn had to do it two years later.
This time, the Huskies' well-rounded roster was led by Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Stefanie Dolson, Breanna Stewart and Kelly Faris. The four of them averaged at least 10 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
This title marked the third set of consecutive titles for a UConn squad — though this one wasn’t over after the 2013-14 season.
2015-16 UConn Huskies (38-0)
The most recent UConn championship to date was its fourth in a row. Over the course of those four seasons (2012-16), the Huskies went 151-4.
Breanna Stewart was still hanging around and dominating with 19.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game while shooting 57.9% from field goal range.
The Huskies had one game decided by 10 points or less all season; it all was smooth sailing for Auriemma’s team. In the title game, they won 82-51 over No. 4-seed Syracuse.