It won't be long now before tickets for the 2019 Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament will go on sale, as the 17th edition of the event takes place March 7-10 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The league has been holding a women's league championship tournament in basketball since 2002, and a lot of great players have played in this event over the years.
After all, the Pacific-12 Conference is the Conference of Champions, and women's basketball is no exception to that rule. Four NCAA national championships have been claimed by teams from the league, as the USC Trojans and the Stanford Cardinal have each won two titles apiece.
Overall, the Cardinal have claimed 12 conference tournament titles, so the list of the Top 7 all-time best players in the event is dominated by Stanford players, but there have been some other brilliant performers from other schools. Here is our list of the greatest ones!
7. UCLA guard Noelle Quinn (2004-2007)
Quinn is primarily responsible for one of the best wins in tournament history, as she scored clutch basket after clutch basket in the Bruins' 2006 title game victory in overtime over Stanford. For her career at UCLA, Quinn tallied 17.1 points per game, 7.4 rebounds per game, 4.2 assists per game, and 1.8 steals per game. This all-around game is why she was the fourth overall pick in the 2007 WNBA Draft.
6. Oregon State guard Jamie Weisner (2013-2016)
In her four-year Beavers career, Weisner averaged 14.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, and 2.0 apg. She also was named both the 2015-16 Conference Co-Player of the Year and the 2016 MVP of the Pac-12 Tournament as a senior. In the process, Weisner led Oregon State to its first-ever Pac-12 tournament title and its first-ever Final Four berth. She notched career highs that season in scoring average, three-point percentage, and free-throw percentage.
5. Stanford forward Chiney Ogwumike (2011-2014)
After her older sister won three straight tournament MVP awards (see below), Chiney stepped in to win a fourth consecutive designation for the family in 2013. That's nice when the trophy does not have to leave the household mantle. Overall for her Cardinal career, she finished with 18.9 ppg, 10.8 rpg, and 1.4 blocks-per-game averages. After playing in 145 games for Stanford, she finished college as the all-time leading scorer in conference history.
4. Washington guard Kelsey Plum (2014-2017)
By scoring 25.4 ppg in 139 games for the Huskies, Plum broke Chiney Ogwumike's career scoring record handily. She also finished her college playing days as the most prolific scorer in the history of NCAA women's basketball. In her junior year, she led Washington to its first-ever Final Four berth as well. A year later, Plum scored 31.7 ppg and averaged a career-best 5.2 rpg as well. She was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft.
3. Stanford forward Nneka Ogwumike (2009-2012)
This Ogwumike sister was a three-time Pac-12 Tournament MVP as she averaged 17.2 ppg and 8.5 rpg rebounds per game over her four-year career with the Cardinal. In the process, she led Stanford to four straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament's Final Four. As a sign of her leadership, she was elected president of the WNBA's Players Association in 2016.
2. Stanford guard Candice Wiggins (2005-2008)
Another three-time tournament MVP for the Cardinal, Wiggins might be the best all-around player in conference history. Her career statistical averages—19.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.2 apg, 2.1 spg—demonstrate her ability to dominate games in a number of different ways. Wiggins was the first freshman to win conference player of the year honors, and she eventually was the third overall pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft.
1. Stanford forward Nicole Powell (2002-2004)
Powell was the MVP of the first three Pac-12 tournaments, and in addition to being a two-time conference player of the year, she also posted 18.4 ppg, 10.0 rpg, and 4.9 apg during her career with the Cardinal. Powell also remains the only player to win the Tournament MVP award despite not winning the title game: In 2002, Stanford lost the first tournament championship to Arizona State, but Powell still earned the unique honor.