SB Nation and Slam Magazine collaborated on a monster effort to find out which women’s basketball teams were the top 50 of all-time.
Three of SLAM’s college hoop junkies compiled their personal lists using a mental simulation of “Who dominated their respective season the most,” mashed them all together using spreadsheet technology to land on one list, adjusted said list slightly for historic and/or cultural importance, and tweaked it into an order that felt right. Each team on the list was also given a number in our versatility index, an index that measures how each team stands against the test of time through eras of college basketball.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish landed two teams on this list.
#19 — 2001
The bookend to her 2018 team, Muffet McGraw won her first title in 2001 with a similar combination of grit and stacked talent, complete with a late comeback. Indiana native Ruth Riley stayed home, powered the Irish attack inside and hit the game-winning free throws in the 68-66 national final win over fellow in-state school Purdue. She was joined in the starting lineup by point guard Niele Ivey and shooter extraordinare Alicia Ratay.
#8 — 2018
This is another group that will grow in stature as the years go on, similar to the 2016 UConn team. The Irish finished 35-3, 15-1 in the ACC, and managed to win a national title in the most exciting way possible: buzzer-beaters from Arike Ogunbowale, first in the national semis over UConn, then again to beat an elite Mississippi State team featuring Teaira McCowan and Victoria Vivians in the final.
Be sure to check out the full article to see how these teams stacked up against the other 48 on the versatility index.
You can also take a moment to make your voice heard in our survey below.