Top-Ranked Stanford Heads to Fresno for NCAA Tournament as No. 2 Seed

March 13, 2005

Stanford, Calif. -

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Top-ranked Stanford (29-2, 17-1 Pac-10) received the No. 2 seed in the Kansas City bracket and will be headed to Fresno, Calif., to face 15th-seeded Santa Clara in the first round of the 2005 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament.

Game times will be announced on Monday, but the first round games are set for Saturday, March 19, at the Save Mart Center on the campus of Fresno State. Complete tournament information is available through the Fresno State website.

If Stanford advances past Santa Clara, the Cardinal will face either Iowa State or Utah in the second round.

Head Coach Tara VanDerveer
On the No. 2 seed and playing Santa Clara in the first round...

'We knew we were going to the Tournament, if we hadn't I think it would have been a little stressed in there [the locker room]. We're very excited. Our team has been working very hard this last week after the Pac-10 [Tournament]. I think the [selection] committee was really challenged to figure out who would be the No. 1 seeds and that's a good problem to have in women's basketball. Things aren't so clear-cut and there are a lot of great teams. There will be a lot of 'upsets,' but I don't see them being necessarily upsets. We're dividing a family in this first game [Sebnem and Yasemin Kimyacioglu], but I just think it's big sister's turn! We really have to focus on Santa Clara and play really well against them. They came out and did really well in their conference tournament, but if I need to, I'll call Seb's dad to get a scouting report. Our team has been working really hard and they enjoy playing with each other. We just want to keep it going.'

On not being a No. 1 seed...
'A long time ago, I stopped trying to figure out the committee and seeds. What's much more important to me is our team being healthy and coming out and playing well. Our situation, the numbers are irrelevant. It's getting there. We're going to Fresno, which is good for us in terms of our fans being able to come and then Kansas City, we want to get there and do our very best.'

On being a No. 2 seed...
'What were the men's and women's champions seeded last year? [UConn men and women were both No. 2 seeds]. Two's all right with me. I remember in 1990, we were never ranked No. 1. And in our bracket, and it was a smaller bracket than 64, so there weren't even 16 teams, we had seven of the top-20 teams in our one bracket. I remember going home and just getting all upset about it, and since then, I've let it go. You can't second-guess the committee; we just have to play. That's the approach I use with our tem. The game is going to happen and we just have to get ready. Our bigger concerns are getting T'Nae [Thiel] healthy and rebounding. It's not seeding and it's not brackets. I believe in our team and I love coaching this team and we want to play six more games.'

On the Pac-10 getting five teams in...
'That's awesome, five teams! Southern Cal, I hope they keep playing the way they played against us, that would be really fun. I really feel the Pac-10 has gotten us ready. You're not going to play against a more aggressive defense than Arizona State; you're not going to play against anyone bigger than Shawntinice Polk [Arizona]; you're not going to play against a team deeper than USC or as big and deep as Oregon. And you're not going to play against a better individual player than Nikki Blue [UCLA]. I think we're in good shape.'

Susan King Borchardt
On UConn as the No. 3 seed in Kansas City...

'I think we're focused on Santa Clara right now, to be honest. More so than that, we're focused on having a good week of practice and coming out and playing good Stanford basketball. We're really focused on ourselves.'

On not being a No. 1 seed...
'When we're playing well, I think we can play with anyone and I think we have demonstrated that this year. Everything is all good and we're just going to go play good basketball and not worry about that.'

On thinking about being a No. 1 seed before the selection was announced...
'I really didn't know, I think there were a lot of good teams out there that could have gotten it, which they discussed on there [ESPN]. But I wasn't sure.'

Sebnem Kimyacioglu
On playing Santa Clara, her sister's team, in the first round...

'I thought we may both end up in Fresno, but I really didn't expect to play them in the first round. But we're both really good competitors and we're going to come out there with our A-game.'

On Santa Clara...
'I've seen them play a few times and they're a very good team, but I think we'll be prepared and so will they. It will be a good match-up.'

On her parents' reaction...
'They're probably picking up their jaws! No, they're excited, I'm sure they're really excited that we'll be at the same place and they'll get to see both of us play. I don't think they were expecting to see us play at the same time, but I think it will be interesting. They're excited to see their daughters play, and we have similar [school] colors, so they don't really have to plan their wardrobe out too much.'

Candice Wiggins
On her first NCAA Tournament...

'I'm really excited, I was just talking about it to my friends [at other schools] who are also freshmen. To be watching it on tv and now to be experiencing it first-hand, it's really exciting.'

Kelley Suminski
On thinking about being a No. 1 seed before the selection was announced...

'I thought we had a good shot, definitely. I believe we're one of the top teams in the nation, but I don't think we're disappointed. We're just excited to have an opponent and to be focused on who we're playing against. I'm just excited to play.'

On this being her last NCAA Tournament...
'This means everything to us. It's our last chance. This is what I want more than anything in the world right now, to make it to the Final Four.'

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