Lady Dogs Make 16th NCAA Trip a Memorable One
1998-99 REVIEW The same team which from November-January set standards rarely reached in the history of one of the nation's premier women's basketball programs, reemerged just in time for "March Madness."
The result provided Andy Landers and his Lady Bulldogs with their fifth trip to the NCAA Final Four in history, joining squads from 1983, '85, '95 and '96 in reaching the pinnacle of women's hoops.
The young Lady Bulldogs, with just one senior on their roster, rolled to the Mideast Regional title with impressive wins over No. 10 Clemson and No. 19 Iowa State, which had upset No. 4 UConn in the "Sweet 16."
Kelly Miller was named the Regional's MVP after pouring in a career-high 33 points and dishing out a season-high 10 assists against the Cyclones. Miller also scored 22 points and grabbed 10 boards against Clemson. She was joined on the All-Regional team by senior Pam Irwin-Osbolt, who averaged 12.5 points in Georgia's two victories in Cincy.
Georgia Improves Its Already Stellar March Madness Status
During their trek to the Final Four, Andy Landers and his Lady Bulldogs raised their already impressive stock in NCAA Tournament history.
Georgia's win over SMU signified Landers' 31st with the Lady Bulldogs, moving him past Stanford's Tara VanDerveer for third place among women's coaches all-time for NCAA Tourney wins.
The Lady Bulldogs' win over Iowa State in the Mideast Regional final was their 33rd all-time, moving Georgia past Stanford into third place for NCAA Tournament victories.
Georgia's current tally of 48 NCAA Tourney games played also ranks third. The Lady Bulldogs trail only Tennessee and Louisiana Tech on each of the afore-mentioned lists.
Kelly Miller Becomes Lady Dogs' Fifth Kodak All-American
Sophomore Kelly Miller earned a spot on the prestigious 10-player Kodak All-America team announced during Final Four week in San Jose.
Miller joins an elite list of former Lady Dogs to be named Kodak All-American which includes Janet Harris (1982, '84 and '85); Teresa Edwards (1985 and '86); Katrina McClain (1986 and '87); and Saudia Roundtree (1996).
Interestingly, Miller became the first Lady Bulldog to ever capture the accolade as a sophomore. Harris did so as a freshman, junior and senior; Edwards and McClain were named during their junior and senior seasons; and Roundtree was named as a senior.
Lady Bulldogs Move to No. 5 in All-Time Associated Press Poll
The March 9 edition of the Associated Press women's basketball poll represented the news service's final weekly tabulation for the 1998-99 campaign. That poll is utilized for updating the AP's all-time rankings, which are compiled by awarding points to schools by the same method utilized during the season (i.e. the No. 1 team in the final poll earns 25 points in the all-time poll, No. 2 gets 24, etc.)
Georgia's ranking of No. 12 that week gave the Lady Bulldogs 14 points toward their all-time tally and moved into sole possession of the No. 5 spot. That continues the steady progression by Georgia in the historical poll.
With a No. 12 finish in the 1995 poll, the Lady Dogs moved from No. 12 to No. 9 all-time, surpassing Southern Cal, Auburn and Stephen F. Austin. Georgia's 1996 NCAA runner-up team finished No. 5 in the year-end AP poll to inch past N.C. State into the No. 8 slot. UGA climbed over Penn State to a tie with Maryland at No. 6 entering the 1997-98 season. Neither team was ranked in the final poll that campaign, but Georgia surged ahead of the Terps and also passed Long Beach State this season.
An updated version of the AP's elite women's hoops programs follows:
1. Tennessee 487 2. Louisiana Tech 423 3. Texas 296 4. Old Dominion 279 5. Georgia 235 6. Long Beach St. 228 7. Penn State 224 8. Maryland 221 Stanford 221 10. Virginia 215