Arizona Wildcats women's basketball


Arizona Wildcats women's basketball
2021–22 Arizona Wildcats women's basketball team
Arizona Wildcats logo.svg
UniversityUniversity of Arizona
Head coachAdia Barnes (4th season)
LocationTucson, Arizona
ArenaMcKale Center
(Capacity: 14,545)
ColorsCardinal and navy[1]
Kit body Spikesonwhite.png
Home jersey
Kit shorts redsides.png
Team colours
Kit body Whitespikes.png
Away jersey
Kit shorts whitesides.png
Team colours

NCAA Tournament Runner-up
NCAA Tournament Final Four
NCAA Tournament Elite Eight
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
1998, 2021
NCAA Tournament Round of 32
1997, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2021
NCAA Tournament Appearances
1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2021
WNIT Tournament Champions
1996 (NWIT), 2019

The Arizona Wildcats women's basketball program is the official women's basketball program at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. Basketball is one of eleven women's sports at the University of Arizona. The team is a Division I member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Pac-12 athletic conference. The team's home venue is the McKale Center, which seats 14,545 fans. The official team colors are cardinal red and navy blue. The Wildcats have qualified for eight NCAA Tournaments.

For most of its history, the women’s basketball program has been playing in the shadow of its men’s counterpart, leading to many losing seasons. However, in recent years, the women’s team has been improving their success in winning, mostly due to coaching regime and talent, and captured the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) championship in 2019. They made the Final Four for the first time in 2021 and defeated UConn to qualify for the National Championship game. They would lose to Stanford in the National Championship.

Program history

Female students at the University of Arizona first requested a women's basketball team in 1912, but were denied. Women played "inter-class" games for the first time in 1921. The juniors won. The following year, the school organized games with players from sororities and dormitories. Intercollegiate competition began in 1923, and a "Varsity" team played Arizona State University. This system persisted until 1971, when the UA joined the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) as a charter member.

The team was a member of the Intermountain Conference.[2] The University of Arizona Athletic Department cites the first official season of women's basketball at the University of Arizona as the 1972–73 season, following the Title IX federal legislation that requires state-supported institutions to offer equal opportunity to men's and women's programs. The team finished their first season with a winning 8–4 record. In 1979, the University of Arizona, along with Arizona State University and five schools in southern California joined to form the Western Collegiate Athletic Association.

The team became a member of the NCAA in 1981, when the NCAA absorbed the AIAW. In 1985, the school joined the Pacific-West Conference, which became the Pac-10 the following season and the Pac-12 in 2011.[3] As of the outset of the 2015–16 season, the all-time team record was 537–642. The Wildcats were runners-up at the Pac-10 Conference championship tournament in 2003 and 2004, marking their most successful conference finishes. The team made appearances in the NCAA Tournament in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2021 and in the Women's National Invitational Tournament in 1996, 2001, 2011, and 2019, while winning it all in 1996 and 2019.[4]

In 2021, the team beat UConn in the Final Four of the NCAA Women’s Basketball championship. They lost the championship game against Stanford 53–54. [5]

Coaching staff

Lois Sheldahl coached during the program's first two seasons. Nancy Trego then took over as head coach for four seasons. Subsequent coaches were Lori Woodman from 1978–1980 (record: 15–35); Judy LeWinter from 1980–1985 (37–100); Wendy Larry from 1985–1987 (30–27); June Olkowski from 1987–1991 (34–82); Joan Bonvicini from 1991–2008 (288–224) and Niya Butts from 2009–2016 (102–147). The current head coach is Adia Barnes (who played for the Wildcats under Bonvicini).[6]

Playing abroad

The Wildcats have played Australia, France, Puerto Rico, and Italy.[2]

NCAA Tournament results

The Wildcats have appeared in the NCAA Tournament 8 times. Their combined record is 11–8.

Year Seed Round Opponent Result
1997 No. 7 First Round
Second Round
No. 10 Western Kentucky
No. 2 Georgia
W 76−54
L 74−80
1998 No. 3 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
No. 14 Santa Clara
No. 6 Virginia
No. 2 Connecticut
W 75−63
W 94−77
L 57−74
1999 No. 6 First Round
Second Round
No. 11 Florida
No. 3 Rutgers
W 87−84 (OT)
L 47−90
2000 No. 8 First Round
Second Round
No. 9 Kent State
No. 1 Tennessee
W 73−61
L 60−75
2003 No. 6 First Round No. 11 Notre Dame L 47−59
2004 No. 9 First Round No. 8 Michigan State L 60−72
2005 No. 9 First Round
Second Round
No. 8 Oklahoma
No. 1 LSU
W 72−69
L 43−76
2021 No. 3 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
National Championship
No. 14 Stony Brook
No. 11 BYU
No. 2 Texas A&M
No. 4 Indiana
No. 1 UConn
No. 1 Stanford
W 79–44
W 52–46
W 74–59
W 66–53
W 69–59
L 53–54


  1. ^ "The University of Arizona Wildcats Logosheet" (PDF). December 9, 2013. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-12. Retrieved March 11, 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Pac-10 changing name to Pac-12 with new adds". 27 July 2010.
  4. ^ "2015–16 Quick Facts/General Information" (PDF). University of Arizona Wildcats, Women’s Basketball. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
  5. ^ McCarriston, Shanna (April 3, 2021). "2021 NCAA Women's Final Four: No. 3 Arizona shocks No. 1 UConn as huge underdog, advances to title game". CBS. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
  6. ^ "Barnes makes return to Arizona as new coach". Retrieved 2016-04-05.

External links

  • Official website Edit this at Wikidata