Tournament MVP: Ukari Figgs, Purdue
Purdue capped a 34-1 season with its first national championship. Led by Figgs (18 points), who hit each of her six freebies, the Boilermakers went 15-for-17 from the line in the last 3:49 to turn what had been a slim 5-point lead into a blowout. Purdue made its final push without star center Stephanie White-McCarty, who was helped off the court with an ankle injury.
Leading Scorer: Colorado State's Beckie Hammon averaged 26.0 points over three games.
They Said It: "We feel like we belong here," said seventh-year Duke coach Gail Goestenkors after knocking off Tennessee in the Final Four. "We've been visualizing this from Day One."
Surprise: Duke toppled heavily favored Tennessee in the Final Four, ending the Lady Vols' national-title run. Tennessee had won the three previous championships.
Interesting Fact: Duke guard Nicole Erickson and center Michele VanGorp transferred from Purdue after athletic director Morgan Burke fired coach Lin Dunn following a 20-11 season in 1995-96.
Never Gets Old: Purdue's final pregame meal in San Jose consisted of chicken, spaghetti, mashed potatoes, corn and fruit, the 35th such repast the Boilermakers had enjoyed together during the season.
SI's Take: "Purdue relied largely on the leadership of its two senior stars, who are so close they can sense each other's moves on and off the court. Figgs roomed with White-McCarty last year but had to find her own lodgings this year after her roomie married high school sweetheart Brent McCarty last May. Without consulting each other, the two ended up in the same apartment building anyway."
Record-Setters: Tennessee's Chamique Holdsclaw closed out her tournament career with 479 points, the most ever. Holdsclaw also had the most field goals with 195. Holdsclaw also set the career rebound mark with 197.
All-Tournament Team: Ukari Figgs, Purdue; Stephanie White-McCarty, Purdue; Katie Douglas, Purdue; Michelle Van Gorp, Duke; Nicole Erickson, Duke.