Dual Final Four Appearances a Rare Feat for Schools
DALLAS – During the past week, South Carolina became the 10th school in NCAA Division I history to send both its women’s and men’s basketball teams to the Final Four.
It’s a rare feat that has Gamecocks fans proud.
“This says the programs at the University of South Carolina are doing something right,” said Yolanda Dow of Columbia, S.C., a longtime fan. “It’s all about discipline with our teams, and you have to be disciplined to make it to the Final Four.”
Dual visits have actually happened 13 times since the women’s tournament began in 1982 — three times by perennial tourney attendee Connecticut (in 2009, 2011 and 2014). The Huskies are the only team to win both the men’s and women’s national championship in the same season, earning the game’s trophies in 2014.
“You have to appreciate the excellence,” said Brad Ott, a Dallas resident, who attended the Final Four with his two daughters, both avid Connecticut fans. “These programs are second to none. We wanted to be here to watch because UConn has such a great legacy.”
South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley weighed in on the feat after her team defeated Florida State in the Elite Eight in Stockton.
“It’s incredible,” said Staley. “I mean, it’s something that Frank [Martin] and I have both worked hard for when we came to South Carolina, I’m quite sure he felt the same way, and I don’t want to speak for him — but Frank is a great coach. He’s a great coach. He does some great things.
A glance at which men’s and women’s team appeared in the NCAA Final Four:
1983 – Georgia
1999 – Duke
2002 – Oklahoma
2003 – Texas
2004 – Connecticut
2005 – Michigan State
2006 – LSU
2009 – Connecticut
2011 – Connecticut
2013 – Louisville
2014 – Connecticut
2016 – Syracuse
2017 – South Carolina