Has A College Ever Won Both March Madness Tournaments?
March Madness is the premier tournament in men’s and women’s college basketball. It is an annual 68-team win-and-advance-style tournament, and the winner is crowned the National Champions. If you look up who won the men’s and women’s tournaments in a given season, you’re more than likely to see two different colleges. But has a college ever won both tournaments in the same year? Keep reading to find out!
The first school to win both March Madness tournaments in the same year was the University of Connecticut in 2004.
For the women’s team, the 2003-2004 season was the last ride for Diana Taurasi, Maria Conlon, and Morgan Valley. That trio had won the previous two National Championships together, but their third did not come without some adversity. The team lost four games, including a loss against Boston College in the Big East semifinals, which snapped a streak of 10 straight conference title game appearances. However, the Huskies were able to regather themselves after this devastating loss and made it through the first five rounds of March Madness, which set them up for a National Championship matchup against Tennessee. Taurasi scored 17 points in her final collegiate game, and UConn won the national championship, 70-61.
The men’s team began the season as the top-ranked team in the country. They matched these high expectations in the regular season, earning a number two seed in the NCAA Tournament. Led by legendary head coach Jim Calhoun and star players Ben Gordon and Emeka Okafor, the Huskies finished the season where they started: on top. After defeating Alabama in the Elite Eight, the team boarded the bus. When Coach Calhoun’s wife, Pat, looked out the window, she noticed something unusual. Parked near the bus were two police motorcycles that had the license plates 1999 and 2004, respectively. 1999 was the year the UConn Men’s team won its first title. Not long after, they would defeat Georgia Tech, 82-73, and be crowned the 2004 National Champions.
The only other year the same college won both March Madness tournaments was 2014, and it was UConn once again.
2014 was quite the year for the UConn Men’s Basketball team. They won their fourth National Championship since 1999 and became the first number seven seed to take the trophy home. Not to mention, it was also the first National Championship for head coach Kevin Ollie, who became the first coach since 1989 to win a title within his first two seasons. The Huskies were led by star guard Shabazz Napier, who spent the season channeling his inner Kemba Walker, who led UConn to the National Championship in 2011, Napier’s freshman year. Napier and the Huskies capped off their historic season with a 60-54 championship-game win over Kentucky.
The day after the men’s team was crowned champions, the women’s Huskies defeated Notre Dame 79-58 en route to UConn’s second March Madness title in two days. Forwards Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Breanna Stewart led the team, combining for 39 points. UConn finished the season undefeated, which was nothing new for head coach Geno Auriemma. This was his fifth undefeated season and ninth National Championship at the helm. Not to mention that he was undefeated in National Championship games at the time.