Saturday, July 4, 2015

Connecticut, Tennessee and Duke Are The Associated Press Poll Heavyweights of the Decade

(Guru's note: In a post below this one is expanded coverage of the tourneys at St. Joseph's and Villanova as well as game coverage from the Inquirer print section elsewhere on The next sunrise will also bring the local women's team of the decade.)

Connecticut, Tennessee and Duke Are The Associated Press Poll Heavyweights of the Decade


(Guru's note: In a post below this one is expanded coverage of the tourneys at St. Joseph's and Villanova as well as game coverage from the Inquirer print section elsewhere on The next sunrise will also bring the local women's team  of the decade.)

By Mel Greenberg

With Monday's release of the current Associated Top 25 Women's Basketball Poll, balloting ended across 189 weeks of the decade about to become history. The period begins with the first poll of January 2000, the season Philadelphia played host to the NCAA Women's Final Four and ends just before the arrival of 2010.

 When the decade began, Connecticut, which won the title at the Wachovia Center, was the dominate team and ten years later the Huskies are still the top dogs, though Tennessee and Duke are also far above the rest of the crowd when it comes to poll performance.

 Though voting continues through a particular season as it does the current one in which Connecticut is close to setting the all-time record for No. 1 consecutive rankings, the finish is where the focus usually goes. And beyond polling, the title is determined on the court where the Huskies have won six NCAA titles and Tennessee has won eight.

  But starting with looking at different aspects of the final polls and some overall totals, here are the many ways the Huskies, Vols and Blue Devils have performed.

    Incidentally, Duke, currently No. 8, will be at Temple's McGonigle Hall Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m. to meet the Owls.

    First let's look at No. 1 rankings overall for the 189-week period.

   Nine teams reached the top since 2000 but Connecticut seemingly never let go. The combination of Connecticut and Notre Dame also made the Big East the top performing conference of the decade.

    Total No. 1s Jan. 2000-Dec. 2009

  1. Connecticut - 96

  2. Duke - 34

   3. Tennessee - 24

  4. LSU - 11

  5. Maryland 10

   6. North Carolina 5

   6. Notre Dame 5

    8. Stanford 2

    8. Texas 2

  Final Poll Total Appearances

   Though many teams made it, the cut-off for this exercise is five, which means the value of half the decade, Although the piece of the current season begins a new chapter, the total is achieved off the final poll of the 2000 season.

 Once again are heavyweight trio were the only ones to appear in all 10 finals, though Tennessee might have been history if the media voting continued after the Vols were dumped by Ball State in the first round of the NCAA.

Here's the list.

Ten Appearances




Nine Appearances


Eight Appearances


North Carolina




Seven Appearances


Ohio State



Six Appearances

Iowa State

Kansas State

Louisiana Tech

Penn State

Texas Tech

Five Appearances

Boston College


Notre Dame


Top 10 Appearance Finishes

Connecticut 10

Duke 10

Tennessee 9

Stanford 7

Louisiana Tech 5

Top 5 Appearance Finishes

Connecticut 7

Tennessee 7

Duke 6

Stanford 5

Total Top Five Appearances In The Decade

(Here's the cut-and-paste from the poll index file)

2000's (to present)
Tennessee 153
Connecticut 145
Duke 115
North Caro. 73
Stanford 60
LSU 59
Maryland 43
Oklahoma 42
Notre Dame 36
Texas 32
Ohio St. 29
Georgia 26
Baylor 23
Rutgers 16
Kansas St. 15
Louisiana Tech 13
Purdue 10
Iowa St. 9
Texas Tech 9
Vanderbilt 9
Penn St. 8
Texas A&M 6
California 5
Auburn 4
Louisville 2
North Caro. St. 2
Wisconsin 2

Top 10 Appearances In The Decade

2000's (to present)
Connecticut 180
Tennessee 179
Duke 162
Stanford 128
North Caro. 110
LSU 105
Baylor 92
Oklahoma 77
Purdue 76
Rutgers 69
Georgia 65
Maryland 65
Ohio St. 64
Notre Dame 63
Louisiana Tech 62
Texas Tech 51
Texas 40
Iowa St. 39
Kansas St. 33
Penn St. 32
Vanderbilt 27
California 24
Auburn 19
Texas A&M 19
Louisville 17
Michigan St. 16
Minnesota 14
Arizona St. 12
North Caro. St. 9
Florida 7
South Carolina 6
Arkansas 5
Geo. Wash. 4
UC Santa Barb. 4
Xavier 4
Wisconsin 3
Colorado 1
DePaul 1
Florida St. 1
Houston 1
Mississippi St. 1
Old Dominion 1
Oregon 1


Back with more later this week

-- Mel

Inquirer Sports Columnist
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About this blog
Mel Greenberg covers college and pro women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he has worked for 38 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. He was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Click here for Mel's list of All-Decade players from Philadelphia-area schools.

Other contributors

Jonathan Tannenwald is a producer with In addition to covering the local college scene, he spent two years as the Washington Mystics beat writer for Women's Hoops Guru. He also writes his own blog, Soft Pretzel Logic, which covers men's college basketball, football, and other sports.

Kathleen Radebaugh is a recent graduate of St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. She covered women's basketball for the school's newspaper, The Hawk, and served as sports editor her sophomore year. She was also a four-year member of the varsity crew team.

Erin Semagin Damio covers the University of Connecticut and the WNBA's Connecticut Sun for the blog, and contributes other features. The Storrs, Conn., native also attends Northeastern University, where she is a coxswain on the varsity crew team.

Acacia O'Connor is based in Washington, D.C., where she reports on the Mystics and the college basketball scene in the nation's capital. A graduate of Vassar college, she played on the varsity women's basketball team and was editor of the student newspaper.

Click on any of the contributors' names above to e-mail them.

Reach Mel at

Mel Greenberg Inquirer Sports Columnist
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