Stanford and Michigan State Will Battle for Trip to Final Four on Tuesday, 6 p.m. Central Time

March 28, 2005

Game Coverage: TV - ESPN | Tournament Central
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Kelley Suminski CSTV Feature

TWO SEED...
This is the sixth time that Stanford has been a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and the first time since 2002. With Monday's win, the Cardinal is now 16-5 and has never fallen before the Sweet 16 as a No. 2 seed. Stanford has also been a No. 2 seed in 1989 (2-1, Elite 8), 1991 (3-1, Final Four), 1994 (3-1, Elite 8), 1995 (4-1, Final Four), 2002 (2-1, Sweet 16).

SEEDING SIDEBAR...
Stanford, the top-ranked team in the country, was given a No. 2 seed, but it is not the first time that the country's No. 1 team did not get a No. 1 seed. In 1984, top-ranked Texas was awarded a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

MILE MARKER...
Stanford's second round match-up against Utah was the 600th game of head coach Tara VanDerveer's coaching career at Stanford. She recently coached the 800th game of her career, a 73-69 win versus USC in the Pac-10 Tournament Semifinal. One of the winningest active coaches, her overall record stands at 634-170 (.789) in 26 years, while her record at Stanford is 482-119 (.802) in 19 years.

MICHIGAN STATE BULLETS...
* Top-seeded Michigan State snuck by eighth-seeded Southern California in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, 61-59.
* The win over the Trojans was the 30th victory this season for Michigan State, the first time in school history that the Spartans have reached the 30-win mark.
* Michigan State is 6-5 in NCAA Tournament play, and this year is the Spartans first-ever trip to the Elite Eight.

THE STANFORD-MICHIGAN ST. SERIES...
This is the third match-up between Stanford and Michigan State. Stanford has won both previous meetings, a five-point win in 1979 and a 10-point victory in 1989. The teams have never matched up in Palo Alto or East Lansing.

STANFORD VS. THE BIG TEN...
The Cardinal is 21-8 all-time against current Big Ten teams. Stanford has faced all 11 teams in the conference and leads all eight of the series and is even in the other three. Stanford has played Purdue eight times, but has not faced off against any other Big Ten school more than three times.

THE BIG TEN IN THE NCAAS...
The Big Ten Conference sent five teams to the NCAA Tournament this year, with automatic qualifier Michigan State joined by four at-large selections, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue.

THIRTY SOMETHING...
With the win over Santa Clara in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament, Stanford posted its sixth 30-win season in school history. The last time the Cardinal posted at least 30 wins in a season was in 2001-02 when Stanford finished with a 32-3 mark and a trip to the Sweet 16. In each of the other four 30-win seasons, Stanford reached the Final Four - twice winning the NCAA Championship.

TOURNAMENT TALK...
The Cardinal is 43-16 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and has won two National Championships, advanced to six Final Fours and made 10 Elite Eight and 13 Sweet 16 appearances. This is Stanford's 18th-straight NCAA appearance and 19th overall. Stanford is the automatic qualifier from the Pac-10 for the third-straight year after winning the tournament title on March 7 with a 56-42 win over Arizona State.

ELITE EIGHT...
This is Stanford's tenth appearance in the Elite Eight in 19 NCAA appearances. The Cardinal has reached the Regional Finals in both of the last two seasons. Stanford's last Regional Final win was in 1997, when the Cardinal advanced to its sixth Final Four.

WINNING WAYS...
Stanford currently owns a 23-game win streak, which is tied for the second-best streak in school history. In the last 23 games, Stanford is averaging a margin of victory of 23.2 points per game, the closest being a four-point win over USC on Mar. 6. Stanford has only won by single digits three times this season: at Utah, vs. Texas Tech and against the Trojans in the Pac-10 Semifinals. The Cardinal has topped its opponents by 20+ points 18 times this season.

STANFORD VS. RANKED OPPONENTS...
With the 76-59 victory over UConn in the Regional Semifinal, Stanford is now 5-1 versus ranked opponents this season. The Cardinal has also defeated No. 25/-- UCLA, then-No. --/24 Arizona State and then-No. 12/11 Texas Tech. Earlier this season, Stanford lost on a buzzer-beater at then-No. 9/10 Tennessee.

CONFERENCE CHATTER...
Stanford swept the Pac-10 honors, as Candice Wiggins was named Pac-10 Player of the Year and Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. Tara VanDerveer was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year and three Cardinal players were honored as All-Pac-10 selections, with sophomore Brooke Smith, senior Kelley Suminski and Wiggins earning First-Team honors and senior Susan King Borchardt taking honorable mention accolades.

PAC-10 PARTICIPANTS...
Five Pacific-10 teams represented the conference in this year's NCAA Tournament, as Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon and USC all earned at-large bids. It is the first time since 1998 that the Pac-10 has sent five teams to the NCAA Tournament and the sixth time in conference history that five teams have received bids (the Pac-10 has never sent more than five teams to the NCAA Tournament). The Pac-10 won five first round games for the first time in league history, and both Stanford and Arizona State went on to play in the Sweet 16. Only the ACC (7) and the Big 12 (6) sent more teams than the Pac-10. The Big Ten and the SEC are also sending five teams.

STANFORD STATS...
Stanford owns a 32-2 overall heading into Kansas City Regional Semifinal. The Cardinal also owns the No. 1 ranking in the Associated Press and the USA Today/ESPN/Coaches' polls. It is the first time Stanford has ended the regular season as the top-ranked team in the country. It is also the first time that Stanford has been ranked No. 1 since December 1996 when the Cardinal began the season with the top ranking in both polls and stayed on top until a loss at Old Dominion.

ONE AT A TIME...
Stanford has been one of the best free-throw shooting teams in the nation, and last Saturday's 33-for-35 night against Santa Clara didn't hurt. Stanford's 94.3% shooting against the Broncos was the Cardinal's best team performance in an NCAA Tournament game. Earlier this season, the Cardinal went 13-for-13 from the line at California, tying the best percentage in school history (with a minimum eight attempts).

DEFENSIVE DRIVE...
Stanford is poised to break the school record in scoring defense this season as it has limited opponents to 55.4 points per game this season. This would be the third season in a row that the Cardinal has broken the school record for scoring defense, as last year's team set a new mark with 58.4 points, besting the mark of 58.9 it had set in 2002-03.

RECORD REVIEW...
With an 84-41 win over Oregon State on Feb. 26, the Cardinal wrapped up the conference season, breaking two school records in the process. Stanford limited its Pac-10 opponents to only 56.9 points per game and held its conference foes to 34.4% shooting from the field -- both record-setting marks in school history and in the Pac-10.

SENIOR SALUTE...
Stanford's five seniors won their 100th game together on Jan. 13 with an 88-53 victory over California. Since arriving on The Farm, the quintet has posted a 118-17 record. This weekend was the group's third Sweet 16 together and second-straight Elite Eight: as freshmen in 2001-02, the squad advanced to the Sweet 16, and as juniors last season, they helped the team make it to the Elite Eight. They only suffered three losses at Maples over the past four years, and the 13-0 record this year is their first perfect home season.*
*As sophomores in 2002-03, the group defended its home court during the regular season but lost a second-round NCAA Tournament game at Maples.

CARDINAL CATALOGUE...
Three Cardinal players are scoring in double digits and 10 are playing double-digit minutes. As of March 14, Stanford is ranked in the top-10 nationally in scoring margin (No. 1, +22.3 points), won-loss percentage (tied for No. 1 with LSU, 93.5%), field goal percentage (No. 5, 47.8%), scoring offense (No. 7, 77.3 ppg) and in field goal defense (No. 8, 34.8%). Through 31 games, the Cardinal is also ranked No. 12 in 3-point field goal percentage (37.9%), No. 17 in turnovers (14.2), No. 20 in rebounding margin (+6.6), No. 22 in scoring defense (55.0 ppg), No. 25 in assists (16.4). Also ranked in the top-10 are Brooke Smith, who is No. 8 in the nation in field goal percentage, shooting 61.2% from the field, and Kelley Suminski, who is ranked No. 7 in three-point field goal percentage at 45.7%.

FIRST HALF FACTS...
Stanford has owned the lead at halftime in all but two games this season and is out-scoring opponents by an average of 13.1 points in the first 20 minutes. Twice, Stanford has only led by two points (at Utah and at Tennessee), but 20 times, the Cardinal has carried a double-digit lead into the break. Against USC in the Pac-10 Tournament semifinal, the Trojans took a four-point lead into the break, then on March 27, UConn owned a five-point lead heading into the halfway point. The Cardinal ended up winning both games by, respectively, four points and 17 points.

PAC-10 PRIDE...
Stanford won the Pac-10 Championship on Feb. 18, winning its 14th conference game at USC. The victory secured Stanford's record-tying fifth-straight Pac-10 title (the Cardinal also won five-straight between 1988-89 and 1992-93). Stanford has finished the regular season with at least 17 Pac-10 wins eight times. The Cardinal has posted four perfect 18-0 seasons and four 17-1 seasons.

PERCENTAGE PERFECT...
Stanford has finished all but one game this season with a better field goal percentage than its opponent. The Cardinal shot a season-high 63.0% from the floor en route to a 94-58 victory over USC on Jan. 22, and on Feb. 24, Stanford finished with 62.5% shooting against Oregon. Then on March 6, USC became the only team to top the Cardinal in shooting, when the Trojans out-shot Stanford in the Pac-10 Semifinal. Through the first 31 games of the season, the Cardinal's 47.8% shooting average ranks No. 5 in the nation.

SHOOTING FROM THE OUTSIDE...
Stanford made 15 3-pointers against UCLA on Jan. 20, just one shy of the school record and No. 3 in Cardinal history. The Cardinal made 10 shots from beyond the perimeter in the first half against the Bruins, a new Stanford record (besting the previous high of nine 3-pointers in a single half). Kelley Suminski led the way with five 3s, as five different Cardinal players connected a trey. Through 34 games, Stanford has made 213 three-pointers, which is tied No. 4 in the school record books for a single season total.

STEALING THE SPOTLIGHT...
Stanford's 21 steals against Eastern Washington at the Great Alaska Shootout was the third-best single game total in school history. Freshman guard Candice Wiggins led the way with five steals as nine different Cardinal players recorded at least one steal in the contest. Then on Dec. 10, the Cardinal posted 20 steals versus Pepperdine, with Wiggins taking the ball six times. Wiggins also picked up six steals at ASU on Jan. 7, five of which resulted in breakaway layups. In 34 games, the Cardinal totals 332 steals - which is the fifth-best single season total in school history.

RANKINGS REPORT...
The Cardinal enters the fourth round of the NCAA Tournament with a 23-game win streak and a 32-2 record. Stanford won the Pac-10 title with a 17-1 mark in conference play and is currently ranked No. 1 in the AP the USA Today/Coaches' poll. The 1/1 ranking bests Stanford's highest previous ranking this season, when both polls ranked the Cardinal No. 2 during December. Stanford had not been No. 2 since the 2001-02 season and has not been ranked No. 1 in the nation since starting the 1996-97 in the top spot. This year, Stanford has been ranked in the top-10 for the entire season.

SEEING DOUBLE...
Stanford has posted seven double-doubles this season. Senior forward Sebnem Kimyacioglu recorded the first double-double of the year when she posted 10 points and 10 assists at Oregon State on Dec. 27. Then on Jan. 4, Stanford saw two in one night as Brooke Smith and Kristen Newlin both posted a double-double against Washington. Smith finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Newlin added 14 points and 11 boards. In Los Angeles, freshman guard Candice Wiggins added the fourth of the year, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds at USC. Two days later, Wiggins scored 24 points and pulled down 16 boards at UCLA. She posted her third double-double of the year with 24 points and 12 rebounds in the Pac-10 semifinal against USC. Smith added the second of her Stanford career with a 19-point, 12-rebound effort against Santa Clara in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

MAPLES MAGIC...
Stanford extended its conference home win streak to 37 games when it wrapped up with an 84-41 victory over Oregon St.. Stanford's last conference loss in Maples was on March 1, 2001, when USC upended the Cardinal. Tara VanDerveer's teams have compiled a 260-28 (.903) record at home* during her tenure and, with the 13-0 mark this year, have posted seven perfect seasons at Maples. Stanford has won 56 of its last 59 games at Maples.

VANDERVEER'S VICTORIES...
Head coach Tara VanDerveer recorded her 600th career win last season, as the Cardinal defeated Missouri, 68-44, in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament. She won her 450th game as Stanford's head coach against Vanderbilt (57-55) in the Sweet 16 last March. Her overall record now stands at 634-170 (.789) in 26 years, while her record at Stanford is 482-119 (.802) in 19 years.

BORCHARDT BOOK...
Stanford's lone fifth-year senior, Susan King Borchardt, saw the court for the first time this season at Oregon State on Dec. 27. She suffered a stress reaction right before the season began, but made her debut with five minutes against the Beavers. Borchardt scored two points, connecting on her first shot of the year. Since that game, her court-time increased steadily and she made her first start of the season against Cal on Jan. 13. Against Arizona on Feb. 3, she tallied a season-high 17. She is now operating at full strength, averaging 23.7 minutes per game. Borchardt has made the second-most three-pointers this season (42), despite missing the first half of the season, in part because her four treys against UConn marked the third time this season that she has connected on four three-point attempts.

COLEMAN CATALOGUE...
Sophomore Markisha Coleman has appeared in 25 games this season and is averaging 5.6 minutes per game. A walk-on, Coleman adds 1.1 points and 0.6 rebounds per game. Against Pacific, she played a career-high 16 minutes and dished out four assists. In conference play, Coleman scored a career-high five points against Cal on Jan. 13 in 10 minutes on the floor. Against Santa Clara in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Coleman led the floor for seven minutes and went 2-for-2 from the free-throw line.

KIMYACIOGLU CORNER...
Senior Sebnem Kimyacioglu is one of the leading 3-point shooters in Stanford history. She has made 34 treys this season and is No. 3 in school history with 203 in her career. Kimyacioglu netted three 3s against UCLA on Jan. 20 as Stanford came one-trey short of the school record 16 threes in a game. Kimyacioglu is the school record holder in three-pointers attempted with 544. She broke the school record as she connected on three of her five attempts against Santa Clara in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

NEWLIN NEWS...
Sophomore center Kristen Newlin started all-three games at the Pac-10 Tournament with the injury to T'Nae Thiel. She also made two starts early in the season (at Utah and at USF). She is the Cardinal's second-leading blocker with 30 this season. As a freshman, Newlin set the school record for blocks in a game with eight at Washington State.

PERRYMAN PIPELINE...
With 160 rebounds so far this season, senior forward Azella Perryman is now ranked No. 11 in school history with 627 boards in her career. Through the first 31 games, Perryman is ranked No. 9 in the Pac-10 with 3.71 defensive rebounds per game.

PIERCE POINTS...
Freshman guard Cissy Pierce missed three games (home series vs. Arizona schools and at Cal) due to a laceration on her right hand suffered in shoot-around before the Arizona game on Feb. 3. Pierce appeared in 19 games prior to her injury and returned with seven minutes at USC on Feb. 18. She was also sidelined with the flu for one game (Oregon on F24), but returned against the Beavers in the home finale. She made her NCAA Tournament debut and scored four points in 10 minutes against Santa Clara. Two days later, Pierce added another field goal against Utah in two minutes on the floor.

RAPPAHAHN RATINGS...
Junior Krista Rappahahn has been a key reserve for Stanford off the bench, averaging 11.4 minutes per game and shooting 35.8% from beyond the arc in 31 games. She made a season-high three treys against Louisiana-Lafayette at the Great Alaska Shootout and went 2-for-2 against UCLA to help the Cardinal make 15 threes in a game.

SMITH SCOOP...
Sophomore center Brooke Smith has made a huge impact during her first season on the court with Stanford. After sitting out last season due to transfer rules, the Marin native is the Cardinal's second leading scorer with 13.2 points per game and is the co-leading rebounder with 5.5 boards per game -- all of that in 23.7 minutes per contest. Her signature hook shot has helped her to a 60.4% field goal percentage -- one of the best in the Pac-10, top-10 nationally, and third-best in school history for a single season. She made her NCAA Tournament debut for Stanford against Santa Clara in the first round and recorded five blocks in the game, a career high. Smith now ranks No. 9 in school history with 42 blocks in a single season.

SUMINSKI STORY...
Kelley Suminski has started 127 games during her four years at Stanford. She ranks No. 2 in school history with 207 three-pointers in her career. Suminski's 141st three-pointer boosted her into the top-10, but is even more special because she hit it with 0.3 seconds left in the Sweet 16 match-up versus Vanderbilt last March to help the Cardinal advance to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1997. She became the 25th player in school history to score 1,000 points when she hit her first bucket of the game against Louisiana-Lafayette at the Great Alaska Shootout. This season, she is ranked rop-10 nationally in three-point field goal percentage, as she is shooting 43.4% through the first 34 games. In 135 contests played, she has averaged 10.0 points per game, No. 21 in the school record books.

THIEL TALE...
T'Nae Thiel returned to action in the NCAA Tournament Semifinal against UConn, after missing the last six games due to a small break in her foot. The senior stepped it up a notch during the conference season, averaging a team-high 6.0 rebounds per game against Pac-10 opponents and is ninth in the conference with 152 rebounds in 27 games this season (5.6 rpg). She is ranked No. 8 in school history with 667 rebounds in her career.

WIGGINS WIRE...
Freshman guard Candice Wiggins, a Second-Team All-America (AP), the USBWA Co-Freshman of the Year, the Pac-10 Player of the Year and Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and the lone freshman on the Wooden Award Voting Ballot and the Midseason Naismith Trophy list, leads the Cardinal in scoring with 17.4 points per game. The third-leading rebounder with 5.3 boards per game was named the Most Outstanding Player at the Pac-10 Tournament after helping the Cardinal to its third-straight conference tournament title. She recorded a career-best 31 points at ASU and also tallied a career-high six assists and six steals (five of which resulted in breakaway layups), and she tacked on a 28-point performance at Arizona on Jan. 9, to earn her first Pac-10 Player of the Week nod. Wiggins has scored 572 points this season, which ranks 12th in school history for points in a single season. Wiggins added a 29-point effort in her NCAA Tournament debut against Santa Clara, 16 of which came in the second half. She also leads Stanford with 83 steals this season -- which ties for No. 4 in school history for steals in a single season. Candice's late father, Alan, also had a knack for steals - in 1984 he helped the San Diego Padres to the World Series and set the club's single-season record with 70 stolen bases (besting his own record of 66 from the year before). Alan Wiggins ranks third all-time in Padres history with 171 stolen bases in his career.

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