TEMPE REGIONAL CHAMPION
(Ranked No. 5 AP and No. 6 by USA today/ESPN/WBCA) RECORDS: 33-3; 14-2 Big 12; automatic bid No. 2 seed ROAD TO THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHP GAME: Defeated Illinois State, 91-70; defeated Oregon, 69-46; defeated Minnesota, 64-57; defeated North Carolina, 72-63; defeated LSU, 68-57; defeated Michigan State, 84-62. WOMEN'S FINAL FOUR APPEARANCES: 1 (2005) WOMEN'S FINAL FOUR RECORD: 2-0 (2005) - School's first Women's Basketball Championship NCAA TOURNAMENT RECORD: 9-3 (four appearances)
BAYLOR TEAM NOTES
Kim Mulkey-Robertson becomes the first person to win a national championship as a player (1982) and as a coach (2005).
With tonight's win, Baylor became the third team to win a national championship and en route defeating three No. 1 seeds (North Carolina, LSU and Michigan State). The Bears join Tennessee (1987- Long Beach State, Auburn, Louisiana Tech) and Louisiana Tech (1988- Auburn, Tennessee, Texas) both defeated all three No. 1 seeds en route to winning the national title.
Baylor became the fourth team to face three No. 1 seeds in an NCAA tournament. Tennessee (1987- Long Beach State, Auburn, Louisiana Tech) and Louisiana Tech (1988- Auburn, Tennessee, Texas) both defeated all three No. 1 seeds en route to winning the national title. The other two teams, Auburn (1990- Lost to Stanford, Louisiana Tech, Washington) and Georgia (1996- lost to Tennessee, Stanford, Louisiana Tech) faced three No. 1 seeds but lost in the championship game.
Baylor becomes the first Big 12 women's basketball team to clinch a national title. As members of the Southwest Conference, Texas won in 1986, and Texas Tech won in 1993.
The last team to win a national championship in its first trip to the Final Four was North Carolina in 1994
(defeated Louisiana Tech, 60-59 on Charlotte Smith's buzzer-beating three-pointer at the Richmond (Va.) Coliseum). Since the NCAA tournament began in 1982, 10 teams have reached the NCAA final in their first Final Four appearance - these teams are 6-4 in the title game.
Baylor becomes the first, first-time national championship winner since Notre Dame in 2001.
Baylor finished the year with the nation's longest winning streak - 20 games.
The 33 wins ties for the most in the school's history. The feat was also accomplished in the 1977-78 season.
The 22-point margin of victory is the second largest margin all-time in championship games. The largest was 23, set by Tennessee in its 67-44 win over Louisiana Tech in 1987. Coincidentally, Kim Mulkey-Robertson was an assistant coach with Louisiana Tech that year.
Baylor broke open the game in the first half using a 19-5 run that spanned 11:02. During that run, Michigan State was held to just one field goal.
Baylor established the second largest rebound margin (+23) in a national championship game, second only to the +27 rebound margin set by Old Dominion over Georgia in 1985.
The Bears have seen two or more players finish with 20 or points in three games this season. Baylor did so against Nebraska and Iowa State.
The Bears finished the season 64-3 when scoring 80 or more points under Mulkey-Robertson.
The Bears are 5-3 all-time against Big 10 foes. Baylor faced four Big 10 teams this season. BU went 4-0 versus Indiana, Penn State - both regular season, Minnesota, NCAA Sweet 16 and Michigan State in championship.
Tonight's championship marked the second NCAA Championship for the university. Last year, the men's tennis team was crowned the national champion.
Baylor went 2-0 against Big 10 teams in the NCAA tournament this year. The Bears defeated Minnesota in the Sweet 16, 64-57 and Michigan State, 84-62 in the championship.
The Bears entered the championship game with the fewest career victories (8) by a title game participant
since 1993, when Texas Tech had a 5-5 record prior to its national championship game win vs. Ohio State (84-82 at The Omni in Atlanta). Baylor's semifinal victory was only the eighth NCAA tournament win in Baylor history.
Baylor was the first Big 12 team to reach the NCAA title game in its first Final Four appearance since Oklahoma in 2002 (the Sooners lost to Connecticut in the final, 82-70 at the Alamodome in San Antonio). Baylor is just the third Big 12 team all-time to reach the championship game. Texas Tech is the only Big 12 school to win an NCAA Championship (1993).
The Big 12 is 4-2 in Final Four games and 2-1 in title games.
The Lady Bears finished 11-2 against ranked teams this season.
Baylor went 15-1 on the year when Niemann reached double figures. The lone loss was to LSU in the season opener.
Baylor has seen five players reach double figures in scoring in just one game during the tournament this year (vs. Illinois State in the first round). There have been three games with three (versus Michigan State in the championship game, LSU in semifinals and North Carolina in the Elite Eight) and two games with two players reaching double figures (versus Oregon, second round, and Minnesota in Sweet 16).
BAYLOR PLAYER NOTES
Sophia Young finishes her junior year with career totals of 1770 points (16.7 ppg), 878 rebounds (8.3 rpg) in 106 games.
Steffanie Blackmon finishes her Baylor career with 1955 points (14.8), 936 rebounds (7.1) and 159 blocks (1.2 bpg) in 132 games.
Blackmon ends her career as Baylor's all-time leading free throw shooter by makes with 517 and blocks with 159. She is also second all-time in games played with 132 and is the school's third leading scorer with 1955 points.
Blackmon's 22 points against Michigan State was her best performance in the tournament and best in 11 games. She posted 20 at Kansas on Feb. 23, 2005.
Chelsea Whitaker finishes her Baylor career with 506 points (4.9), 292 rebounds (2.8) and 457 assists (4.4) in 103 games.
Emily Niemann's 19 points versus Michigan State was the most for her in the NCAA tournament run. She had 14 versus LSU in the semifinals. She has led Baylor in scoring (four) times this season.
Niemann's five three-pointers marked just the second time in championship history in which a player has recorded five or more threes. Katy Steding of Stanford owns the record of six, which she set against Auburn on April 1, 1990. She had a career-best six at Colorado on Feb. 26, 2005.
Niemann eclipsed the 700 point mark after just two seasons with the Bears. She needed 15 tonight to do so.
Niemann has recorded three or more three-pointers in 10 games this season.
Niemann's two-year three-point total is 139-303 (.458).
Young led her team in career tournament points with 198, an average of 22.0 ppg.
Young has reached double figures in all 36 games and recorded 17 double-doubles.
Young has been the team's leading scorer a high of 21 times, while Blackmon has done the deed 12 times and Emily Niemann four times.
Young has also been the team's leading rebounding a high of 21 times, while Blackmon has corralled high rebounds in 15 games, Chameka Scott three times.
Young has posted 14, 20+point games and 17, 10+ rebounding performances this season. Blackmon is close behind with nine 20+ point games and one game with 31 points, and six games with 10 or more rebounds.
Young is riding a 46-game double figure scoring streak.
Chelsea Whitaker became Baylor's all-time assists leader. She has 457 after three seasons and 103 games.
Emily Niemann's older brother Jeffrey pitched for Rice's 2003 national champion baseball team. He went 17-0 in the 2002-03 season. He was selected fourth in the MLB draft, went to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Mulkey-Robertson owns a five-year head coaching record of 131-38 (.775).
Mulkey-Robertson owns a 9-3 record in NCAA tournament games. After four appearances, her teams are 3-1 in the first round, 2-1 in the second round, 1-1 in the Sweet 16, 1-0 in the Elite Eight, 1-0 in semifinals and 1-0 in championship games.
Four Final Fours as a player (three NCAA, one AIAW); Seven trips as an assistant coach with Louisiana Tech and first time as head coach at Baylor.
As a player, Mulkey-Robertson was 3-2 in Final Four games, which included a national title in 1982, her first appearance. She was a point guard.
Mulkey-Robertson is one of three current D-I head women's coaches who have played for a national championship. Temple head coach Dawn Staley played for Virginia when it was the national runner-up in 1991 and Jennifer Rizzotti helped Connecticut to a title in 1995. Only Mulkey-Robertson and Rizzotti have won titles as players prior to becoming a head coach.
Prior to Mulkey-Robertson's arrival, Baylor went 7-20 in 1999-2000. In just five years, her teams have gone 131-38.
Four Baylor teams have now advanced to their sports' NCAA national finals.
Baylor's men's tennis team brought the university its first team national title in 2004 when it won the NCAA
men's team championship.
Men's basketball has advanced to the Final Four on two occasions. In 1948 the Bears lost to Kentucky (58-52)
in the national championship game after defeating Kansas State (60-52) in the semifinal contest. In 1950 the
Bears lost in the semifinals to Bradley, 68-66.
Baylor's baseball program played in the College World Series twice, in 1977 and 1978. BU is 0-4 in CWS