COLLEGE SPORTS BUCKET LIST: No. 80

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Something we haven’t seen so far in our College Sports Bucket List Countdown is women’s sports. Well, today is our first strike at ladies athletics as we take at look at one of best rivalries in all of Basketball.

Before we go any further, make sure you check out what happened so far on the countdown in the 80′s – and if it’s anything like the decade then you’re in for a treat!! 

Number Game/Event Sport
No. 90 Clarkson vs. St. Lawrence DI Hockey
No. 89 DI College Soccer Cup DI Soccer
No. 88 Cinncinatti vs. Louisville FBS Football
No. 87 William & Mary vs. Richmond FCS Football
No. 86 Orange Bowl FBS Football
No. 85 DePauw vs. Wabash DIII Football
No. 84 Indiana vs. Purdue FBS Football
No. 83 Michigan vs. Michigan State DI Hockey
No. 82 UW-Whitewater vs. Mount Union DIII Football
No. 81 Sam Houston State vs. Stephen F. Austin FCS Football

Of course don’t foget about the start of the countdown either – No. 100 – No. 91

No. 80 Stanford vs. Tennessee (Women’s College Basketball)

This rivalry has arguably been Women’s College Basketball’s greatest in the past decade. Though in different conferences, these two teams have met in 24 consecutive seasons. Stanford has had more success recently, making 5 straight Final Four apperances. Tennessee’s last Final Four apperance was in 2008.

A huge part of this rivalry’s uniqueness has to do with the coaching battles. When Tennessee’s Pat Summit and Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer met, you knew it was going to be a chess match. Summit is #1 on the all time wins list with 1098, while VanDerveer is currently 5th with 861 career wins. Certaintly two obvious basketball Hall of Fame choices in the upcoming future. While always good battles, Summit and the Lady Vols are usually the ones who are going to win, holding a 23-7 record over Derveer and Stanford.

With Pat Summit announcing her retirement this past season, it looks as if this great coaching rivalry has finally came to an end. The last battle between these teams was on December 20th, 2011, where Derveer’s Cardinal got the final victory in this great series with a 97-80 win over Summit at Stanford.van_summit

It isn’t all about the coaches though. When these two teams meet, it’s always a battle between top talent and coveted recruits. These two programs are always fighting for the top prospects. 

A memory that’s still very fresh in both Volunteer and Cardinal fans is the 2008 National Championship Game. Tennessee and Stanford were the last two teams remaining in the tournament and had a battle for the Title. Tennessee – led by one of Women’s Basketball’s greatest ever, Candace Parker, came in to the game with a 35-2 record. The upset minded Cardinal – led by All American Candice Wiggens – entered with a 35-3 record. It was a close battle to start but in the end Tennessee’s talent was too much for Stanford. The Lady Vol’s came out victorious 64-48, winning Pat Summit her 8th title.

With Pat Summit retiring and Tennessee in a bit of a rebuilding process, it looks like the great two decades of this rivalry have come to an end. With Lady Vol Legend Holly Warlick taking over as head coach, the Volunteers look to build a new era of dominance. Stanford, a team still on the rise, is looking for their first championship in two decades this upcoming season. The 2012 game, being played in Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville,will be the 25th straight year with meeting between these two great programs. If you want to see what Women’s College Basketball is all about, seeing Tennessee and Stanford play is a must.

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