This Week In Pac-10 Women's Basketball
March 23, 2005
For just the first time since 1994, the Pacific-10 Conference has placed more than one team in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship... Pac-10 Tournament runner-up ARIZONA STATE (24-9 overall, 12-6 Pac-10) and Pac-10 Champion STANFORD (31-2, 17-1) continue their run through the NCAA Tournament Saturday and Sunday, respectively... The Sun Devils and Cardinal were part of an historic start in Tournament play for the league, which had five teams win first round games for the first time ever... No. 2 seed and top-ranked Stanford faces No. 3 seed and 10th-ranked Connecticut (25-7) Sunday in Kansas City, Mo., while Arizona State, the No. 5 seed in the Tempe Region, takes on No. 2 seed and fifth-ranked Baylor (29-3) Saturday on its home floor... The Cardinal, winners of 22 consecutive games by an average of 23.5 points, have logged their sixth 30-win season in school history, and first since 2002, when they reached the Sweet Sixteen... In each of their other four 30-win seasons, Stanford has made it to the Final Four, winning the national championship twice... The Sun Devils have posted a 12-1 mark at Wells Fargo Arena this season, including a Dec. 21 upset of then-No. 8 Connecticut... ASU has won seven in a row at home, 17 of its last 19 and 30 of the last 33 played on its home court.... The Sweet Sixteen appearance is the first for ASU in 22 years, and the first since the Tournament expanded to 64 teams... All-America News: Stanford FR G Candice Wiggins was named an Associated Press Second Team All-American, while UCLA JR G Nikki Blue and Arizona SR G Dee-Dee Wheeler received Honorable Mention honors.
Sat., Mar. 26
Wells Fargo Arena
No. 2 Baylor vs. No. 3 Minnesota, 7 p.m. MT, ESPN
No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 5 ARIZONA STATE, approx. 9:30 p.m. MT, ESPN2
KANSAS CITY REGIONAL
Sun., Mar. 27
No. 1 Michigan State vs. No. 5 Vanderbilt, 6:30 p.m. CT, ESPN2
No. 2 STANFORD vs. No. 3 seed Connecticut, approx. 9 p.m. CT, ESPN2
Mon., Mar. 28
North Carolina-ARIZONA STATE winner vs. Baylor-Minnesota winner, TBD, ESPN
KANSAS CITY REGIONAL
Tue., Mar. 29
Michigan State-Vanderbilt winner vs. STANFORD-Connecticut winner, TBD, ESPN
NCAA TOURNAMENT NOTES
FIVE 20-WIN TEAMS: The Pac-10 has produced five 20-game winners this season for just the second time in league history, and first time in 13 years. Three teams (Stanford, Arizona State and Oregon entered the 2005 NCAA Tournament with at least 20 victories, while USC and Arizona eclipsed the 20-win mark in their first round games. The Conference last had five teams reach 20 wins during the 1991-1992 season, when Stanford won its second national championship and finished 30-3 overall, USC (23-8) reached the Elite Eight, UCLA (21-10) advanced to the Sweet Sixteen and California (20-9) reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: Five Pac-10 teams received NCAA Tournament bids this season for the first time in seven years and the sixth time in Conference history. Five Conference teams won their first round games for the first time ever this year.
SWEET SIXTEEN SQUADS: Following a record 5-0 showing for Pac-10 women's basketball teams in 2005 NCAA Tournament first round games, the Conference has advanced two teams to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in 11 years.
GETTING TO THE ELITE EIGHT: A Pac-10 team has reached the Round of Eight 14 times, and twice in the last four years (Stanford in `04, Washington in `01). The Conference had at least one team reach the Elite Eight seven times in the 1990s, with six appearances by Stanford (1990, `91, `92, `94, `95, `97), two by USC (1994, `92), one by UCLA (1999) and one by Washington (1990).
THE ROAD TO THE FINAL FOUR: Stanford (six appearances) and USC (three appearances) are the lone Pac-10 teams with Final Four experience. The Cardinal made all six of their Final Four appearances in the 1990s (1990, `91, `92, `95, `96, `97), winning two national championships (`90, `92). USC made three Final Four appearances in four years in the mid-80's (1983, `84, 86), with national titles in 1983 and 1984.
PAC-10 TEAMS AS NATIONAL CHAMPS: A Pac-10 team has won the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament four times in the 23-year history of the event. The USC Trojans claimed the championship trophy in 1983 and 1984, while Stanford brought the hardware home to The Farm in 1990 and 1992.
ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS: The Sun Devils return home to Tempe to make their first Sweet Sixteen appearance in more than 20 years and the first since the women's tournament was expanded to 64 teams... ASU faces No. 1 seed North Carolina Saturday.... The Tarheels own a 1-0 advantage in the all-time series, defeating the Sun Devils 72-68 on Dec. 28, 1999... ASU reached the Sweet Sixteen in 1982 and 1983... On both of those occasions, the Sun Devils fell to the eventual national champion in the Round of 16, losing to Louisiana Tech in 1982 and USC in 1983... ASU is making its sixth all-time NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2002... The Sun Devils are 12-1 at home this season, including a 61-50 upset of three-time defending NCAA Champion Connecticut on Dec. 21... The No. 5 seed in the Tempe Regional, Arizona State defeated No. 12 seed Eastern Kentucky 81-65 in first round action in Fresno, Calif.... The 81-point effort was ASU's second-highest scoring output of the season... ASU overcame a 13-point first half deficit to upset No. 4 seed and 11th-ranked Notre Dame, 70-61, in the second round... The Sun Devils' 24 wins are the most since the 2002 squad finished with a school record-tying 25 victories... In NCAA Tournament play, SR G Carrie Buckner is tied for third with UNC's Nikita Bell, at 3.50 steals per game... Head coach Charli Turner Thorne is the first in school history to lead her team to three NCAA appearances... The Sun Devils have posted the seventh 20-win season in ASU history and the third under Turner Thorne, currently in her ninth season at ASU... ASU returned to the national polls on Mar. 8, and is ranked 24th in the coaches' poll... SO F Emily Westerberg, a First Team All-Pac-10 selection, ranks 10th in the league with 11.4 points per game... The top defensive team in the Pac-10, ASU leads the league in scoring defense (and ranks 11th nationally) at 53.8 points per game... The Sun Devils have held 13 opponents to 50 points or less this season... The State Farm Pac-10 Tournament runner-up, ASU fell 56-42 to top-seeded Stanford in the title game... The Sun Devils tied for second place in the Pac-10 at 12-6.
STANFORD CARDINAL: Winners of 22 consecutive games, the Cardinal advance to the Sweet Sixteen as the No. 2 seed in the Kansas City Region, where they meet up with No. 3 seed and three-time defending NCAA Champion Connecticut on Sunday... Stanford owns a 3-2 advantage in the all-time series with UConn... Sunday's meeting marks the first between the clubs since the Huskies defeated the Cardinal 94-78 in Orlando on Dec. 21, 1997... The Cardinal have logged their sixth 30-win season in school history and first since 2002, when they reached the Sweet Sixteen... In each of their other four 30-win seasons, Stanford has made it to the Final Four, winning the national championship twice... The Cardinal made it as far as the Elite Eight last season before falling to Tennessee 62-60 in the Midwest Regional final... Ranked No. 1 in both national polls, Stanford is the first top-ranked team not to receive a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament in 21 years -- since Texas in 1984... Stanford has won its last 22 games by an average of 23.5 points, the closest win being a four-point win over USC on March 6... The Cardinal have won by single digits just three times this season: at Utah, versus Texas Tech and against the Trojans in the Pac-10 Tournament semifinals... The Cardinal defeated No. 15 seed Santa Clara, 94-57, in first round action, then downed No. 10 seed Utah, 88-62, in second round play... SR F T'Nae Thiel, available after recovering from a partial fracture of the left foot on Feb. 24, did not see action against the Utes but was cleared to play... The second round contest against Utah marked head coach Tara VanDerveer's 600th game on The Farm... Stanford is coming off its third straight Pac-10 Tournament title and fifth straight Pac-10 Championship... FR G Candice Wiggins (17.3 ppg) became the first freshman woman ever to be named Pac-10 Player of the Year, and she was the lone freshman in the nation to grace the Midseason Naismith and Wooden Award lists... Stanford is also represented on the All-Pac-10 First Team by SO C Brooke Smith (13.4 ppg) and SR G Kelley Suminski, the Pac-10's active career three-point leader (207 treys).
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