The Baylor men’s basketball team and Stanford women’s basketball team have never won consecutive NCAA championships.
But that could change this March Madness season.
The Bears and Cardinal are the reigning national champions in their respective NCAA Tournaments, and both enter this year’s Big Dances as No. 1 seeds.
After earning the program’s first NCAA championship in 2021, Scott Drew’s Bears went 26-6 this season en route to earning a share of the Big 12 regular-season championship with Kansas. Adam Flagler and Matthew Mayer are the top returning players from the title team, while transfer James Akinjo and freshman Kendall Brown have stepped in to replace the likes of Davion Mitchell and Jared Butler.
Meanwhile, head coach Tara VanDerveer and the Cardinal went a perfect 16-0 in the Pac-12 and 28-3 overall, sweeping the conference regular-season and tournament titles for a second consecutive season. Stanford lost its top scorer from last year in Kiana Williams, but returning players Cameron Brink, Haley Jones and Lexie Hull have led the way for the Cardinal.
While both Stanford and Baylor have a strong chance at repeating, just how rare is it for a team to win back-to-back national championships?
How many teams have won consecutive NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournaments?
Since the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament debuted in 1939, only six programs have won consecutive national championships.
Oklahoma State was the first to accomplish the feat, winning the Big Dance in 1945 and 1946 when the university was named Oklahoma A&M College. Kentucky followed suit in 1948 and 1949, claiming the first two of four national titles under head coach Adolph Rupp.
Bill Russell and K.C. Jones powered San Francisco to back-to-back titles in 1955 and 1956. The 1955 Dons lost just one game the entire season (28-1) before the 1956 team became the first NCAA champion to have an unblemished record (29-0).
Cincinnati won the tourney in 1961 and 1962, and nearly became the first program to win three consecutive national titles. But the Bearcats lost in overtime by two points in the 1963 championship game to Loyola.
The following year, John Wooden began a legendary run at UCLA. The Bruins went 30-0 to win the program’s first NCAA championship in 1964 before repeating as champs in 1965.
Then, after missing out on the tournament in 1966, Wooden’s Bruins ripped off a record seven consecutive national titles from 1967-73. The 1967, '72 and '73 teams all were unbeaten, while the '68, '69 and '71 squads dropped one game apiece. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1967-1969), Henry Bibby (1970-72) and Bill Walton (1972-73) headlined the players who were part of that magical seven-season stretch.
The Bruins’ championship run came to an end in the 1974 Final Four, but they did reclaim the throne in 1975 for Wooden’s 10th and final NCAA championship. UCLA still stands as the only men’s program that’s won more than two consecutive national championships.
Duke snapped a near-two-decade-long stretch without a repeat winner by taking home the 1991 and 1992 national championships, the first two in program history. Those Mike Krzyzewski teams were led by Christian Laettner, Grant Hill and Bobby Hurley, with Laettner’s iconic buzzer-beater coming in the 1992 Elite Eight. Coach K has won three more national championships since, and has one final shot at a sixth one this year before he retires.
The most recent team to go back-to-back was Florida. Billy Donovan coached Joakim Noah, Al Horford, Corey Brewer and Co. to the Gators’ first national title in 2006, and that group successfully defended their title in 2007.
Here’s a full look at the men’s basketball programs that have won consecutive NCAA Tournaments:
Oklahoma State: 1945-46
San Francisco: 1955-56
UCLA: 1964-65, 1967-73
How many teams have won consecutive NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournaments?
The NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament was first played in 1982, and only three programs have been able to win it in consecutive seasons.
USC quickly became the first one to do so, with Cheryl Miller and Cynthia Cooper-Dyke helping the Trojans to NCAA Tournament victories in 1982 and '83.
Five of legendary Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt’s eight national championships were part of consecutive stretches. After winning in 1987, '89 and '91, Summitt’s Vols took home the national championship three straight times from 1996-98. The 1998 squad, which Tamika Catchings was a member of, went 39-0 to become the second undefeated women’s champion.
Candace Parker powered Tennessee to two more national titles in 2007 and 2008. Parker was the Wooden Award winner each season as the Vols went a combined 70-5.
To no surprise, UConn is the other program with consecutive national championships. Geno Auriemma coached the Huskies to NCAA titles in 1995 and 2000 before a Diana Taurasi-led three-peat from 2002-04. Taurasi and Co. lost only five combined games during their multi-year title run, which included a perfect season in 2002 that Sue Bird was part of.
Auriemma has since overseen two more championship streaks, with each being of the historic variety. With Maya Moore and Tina Charles in the lineup, the Huskies put together back-to-back undefeated championship seasons in 2009 and 2010, which was the first and is still the only time that’s been done in women’s college basketball history.
Then, with the help of another future WNBA star, UConn went on an absolutely dominant tear from 2013-16. Breanna Stewart and the Huskies lost a total of five games, including just one over the final three years, as they steamrolled to the first four-peat in women’s tournament history. UConn’s average margin of victory in the four national title games was over 23 points.
Here’s a complete look at the women’s basketball programs that have won consecutive NCAA Tournaments:
Tennessee: 1996-98, 2007-08
UConn: 2002-04, 2009-10, 2013-16