Pac-10 Sends Three Teams to NCAA Women's Basketball Championship
March 18, 2008
THREE TEAMS SENT TO NCAAs
For the sixth straight season, at least three Pac-10 teams are going 'dancing,' as announced by the NCAA on ESPN's selection show ... Playing in the Spokane regional, STANFORD (30-3) earned the league's automatic berth with its win in the 2008 State Farm Pac-10 Tournament Mon., Mar. 10 ... The Cardinal, a No. 2 seed, will host the first and second rounds on the Stanford campus, in the comfortable confines of Maples Pavilion ... CALIFORNIA (26-6) earned a No. 3 seed and will also head to The Farm for its first game of the 2008 postseason ... Should the Golden Bears advance to the third round, they will play in Greensboro, N.C. ... In the Oklahoma City regional, ARIZONA STATE (21-10) will play its first round game in College Park, Md. ... The Pac-10 has sent at least three teams to the NCAA Tournament for six consecutive seasons, including 2006's history-making six-team tournament and 2005's five-team tournament.
PAC-10 IN NCAA TOURNAMENTS
The Pac-10 has had an impressive run in the NCAA Tournament, sending at least one team to the Sweet 16 in 23 of 27 tournaments ... In addition, the Pac-10 has reached the Elite Eight in 18 of 27 NCAA Tournaments, including the last four straight seasons ... Arizona State is the most recent team to fall short of the Final Four after advancing to the regional final in Greensboro, N.C. in 2007 ... Stanford is looking for its first Final Four berth since 1997 ... The Cardinal have also advanced to the Elite Eight in three of the past four seasons (2004, 2005, 2006) ... California, which has earned three consecutive NCAA Tournament bids, has never gone further than the second round.
PAC-10 vs. NON-CONFERENCE FOES
The Pac-10 has been impressive against non-conference foes this season, amassing a 65-47 (.580) record during regular season play ... The league has hit the 65-win plateau the last three seasons, as well as the 60-win plateau the last five seasons.
2008 STATE FARM PAC-10 TOURNAMENT
Stanford picked up its fifth Pac-10 Tournament title in the seven-year history of the event, knocking off No. 2-seeded California on Mon., Mar. 10, 56-35 ... SR G Candice Wiggins, who was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, scored 30 points on 12-of-23 shooting from the field in Monday's championship game ... Wiggins becomes just the second player in Pac-10 history to score MOP honors three times in a career, joining former Stanford great Nicole Powell (2002, 2003, 2004) ... Wiggins was accompanied on the all-tournament squad by teammates SO C Jayne Appel and FR F Kayla Pedersen ... Arizona State SO G Dymond Simon, California JR F/C Devanei Hampton and OREGON SO G Taylor Lilley rounded out the team.
INDIVIDUAL/TEAM RECORD BREAKERS
Individual records broken in the 2008 State Farm Pac-10 Tournament included: field goal attempts (tournament) 57, Devanei Hampton, California, 2008 (16-of-57); field goal percentage (game) 1.000, Jayne Appel, Stanford vs. Oregon State (8-8), Mar. 8, 2008; offensive rebounds (game) 8, Devanei Hampton, California vs. Arizona State, Mar. 9, 2008. Team records broken in the 2008 State Farm Pac-10 Tournament included: field goal attempts (most, tournament) 194, Stanford, 2008 (77-of-194); three-point field goal percentage (lowest allowed, tournament (min 2 games)) .128, UCLA, 2008 (5-of-39).
No. 6 ARIZONA STATE (21-10)
This Week: vs. No. 11 Temple; vs. No. 3 Duke/No. 14 Murray State (first and second rounds)
As last year's most successful Pac-10 team in the NCAA Tournament, Arizona State looks to pick up right where it left off, earning a No. 6 seed in the Oklahoma City regional ... The Sun Devils will face No. 11 Temple (21-12) in the first round on Sun., March 23 at approximately 9:30 p.m. ET ... The winner will meet up with either No. 3 Duke (23-9) or No. 14 Murray State (24-7) in the second round ... No stranger to top teams, Arizona State has played a whopping nine teams in the Top-25 this season, but has yet to come out on the winning end, despite coming close ... ASU is a strong defensive team led by Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year JR G Briann January, who paces the Conference with a 2.29 steals average and has helped her team to a third-ranked scoring defense average (58.8) ... Junior post players C Sybil Dosty and F/C Lauren Lacey clog up the middle for the Devils, as Dosty ranks eighth in the Conference in rebounding (6.5) and Lacey ranks 10th in scoring (12.5) ... Arizona State is playing in its ninth NCAA Tournament, having advanced to last year's Elite Eight in the Greensboro regional final where it lost to eventual runner-up, Rutgers, 64-45 ... ASU is 21-10 this season, marking the fourth straight season it has surpassed the 20-win plateau.
No. 3 CALIFORNIA (26-6)
This Week: vs. No. 14 San Diego; vs. No. 6 George Washington/No. 11 Auburn (first and second rounds)
With a No. 3 seed in the Greensboro, N.C. portion of the bracket, California earns its highest seed in program history ... The Bears will open tournament play against No. 14 San Diego (19-12) at Stanford's Maples Pavilion on Sat., March 22 at approximately 1:30 p.m. ... The winner will face either No. 6 George Washington (25-6) or No. 11 Auburn (20-11) in the second round ... The Bears, who at 26-6 have set a school record for wins in a season, will be making their sixth NCAA Tournament appearance and third since 1993 ... Cal has lost in the first round of the tournament in its last two seasons ... Leading the way for the Bears are junior post players F/C Ashley Walker and F/C Devanei Hampton ... Walker leads the Conference in rebounding (9.3) and ranks third in scoring (15.0), while Hampton, a first team All-Pac-10 selection for the third straight year, averages 13.6 points and 8.2 rebounds ... On the perimeter, RS SO G Alexis Gray-Lawson leads the Pac-10 in three-point field goal percentage, hitting at a .398 clip ... Known for its defense, California opponents are averaging just 54.1 points per game to earn the Golden Bears the top spot in the Conference and the 12th spot in the nation ... Cal also outrebounds its opponents by an average of +7.9 boards per game.
No. 2 STANFORD (30-3)
This Week: vs. No. 15 Cleveland State; vs. No. 7 UTEP/No. 10 Western Kentucky (first and second rounds)
With 18 straight wins, Stanford heads into the 2008 NCAA Tournament as one of the hottest teams in the country and certainly deserving of its No. 2 seed ... The Cardinal will open the first round of play with a Sat., March 22 game against No. 15 Cleveland State (19-13) at 5:30 p.m. ... Should Stanford advance to the second round, it will face the winner of the No. 7 UTEP (27-3)/No. 10 Western Kentucky (26-7) game ... Playing in the Spokane portion of the bracket, Stanford is looking to avenge last season's home upset in the second round to Florida State (68-61), and can do so on the shoulders of All-American SR G Candice Wiggins ... Wiggins paces the Pac-10 with a 19.3 scoring average, while ranking 10th in assists (2.94), second in steals (2.15), third in free throw percentage (.827) and third in three-point field goals made (2.09) ... Wiggins is joined by SO C Jayne Appel and FR F Kayla Pedersen who rank fifth and eighth in the Conference in scoring, respectively ... With a 14.2 ppg average, Appel also dominates the boards, averaging 8.8 rebounds per game to rank second in the league ... Pedersen boasts a scoring average of 12.8, the highest mark for a freshman this season ... Stanford is defeating its opponents by an average of 19 points this year.