We Meet Again: No. 2/2 Stanford And No. 1/1 Connecticut Vie For The National Championship Tuesday Night
April 5, 2010
2010 National Championship Game
No. 2/2 Stanford Cardinal (36-1)
No. 1/1 Connecticut Huskies (38-0)
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - No. 2/2 Stanford gets another crack at No. 1/1 Connecticut Tuesday night in the national championship game, meeting the Huskies at 5:30 p.m. PT from the Alamodome in San Antonio. The contest, Stanford's second national title game in three years, will be televised on ESPN as well as online on ESPN3 with Dave O'Brien calling the action, Doris Burke on color commentary and Rebecca Lobo and Holly Rowe reporting from the sidelines. The game will also be broadcast on 90.1 KZSU with Scott Bland and David Lombardi calling the action.
Last Time Out
The Cardinal advanced to its second national championship game in the last three years with a 73-66 victory over No. 12/12 Oklahoma at the Final Four in San Antonio Sunday night. Nnemkadi Ogwumike scored a career-high and national semifinal-record 38 points in the win and also grabbed 16 rebounds to lead all players. Stanford was also paced by senior center Jayne Appel, who went for 13 points and 10 rebounds while junior forward Kayla Pedersen scored 12 points and grabbed nine boards. Stanford's 'Big Three' combined for 63 of the Cardinal's 73 points, and grabbed 35 of the team's 53 rebounds. Ogwumike scored Stanford's first eight points of the game, then scored the team's final six after Oklahoma closed to within 67-64 with 46 seconds to play.
Connecticut (38-0) the Dayton Region champion, goes for its second straight national title Tuesday night. The Huskies, who entered the NCAA Tournament as the top overall seed, are coached by 25th-year head coach Geno Auriemma and led by the play of two-time Wade Trophy winner Maya Moore and senior center Tina Charles.
All-Time Against Connecticut
The all-time series between Stanford and Connecticut is tied at 5-5 heading into Tuesday's national title game. The Huskies won this season's regular-season meeting, 80-68 in Hartford on Dec. 23, while the Cardinal does hold the distinction of being the last team to defeat the Huskies, scoring an 82-73 victory at the 2008 Final Four on April 6, 2008.
Stanford Against The Big East In The NCAA Tournament
Stanford is 3-2 against the current 16-team Big East in the NCAA Tournament, most recently splitting national semifinal contests with Connecticut in 2008 and 2009.
National Stat Rankings
Through March 23, Stanford is ranked in the national top 20 in the following categories: assist-to-turnover ratio (1.27 - second), field-goal percentage defense (34.1 - third), rebound margin (+12.1 - third), scoring margin (+23.6 - third), field-goal percentage (47.6 - fifth), three-point field goal defense (25.6 - fifth), fouls per game (13.1 - sixth), assists (17.94 apg - seventh), scoring (77.7 - 10th), scoring defense (54.1 - 11th) and turnovers per game (14.2 - 12th). Nnemkadi Ogwumike is fourth in the nation with a 62.9 shooting percentage and Jeanette Pohlen is 19th with a 2.01 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Pac-10 Stat Rankings
Through March 29, Stanford leads the conference in 12 statistical categories: scoring margin (+23.6), scoring defense (53.6), field-goal percentage (47.2), field-goal percentage defense (33.8), rebounding (44.9 rpg), rebounding margin (+12.1), three-point field-goal percentage defense (24.9), free throw percentage (73.8), defensive rebounding (30.6), defensive rebound percentage (71.3), assists (17.83) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.27).
Individually, Nnemkadi Ogwumike leads the Pac-10 with 18.2 points per game and a 61.1 shooting percentage, and is second with 9.6 rebounds per game. Kayla Pedersen is third with 9.3 rebounds a game and fourth with 15.9 points a game, while Jayne Appel is second with 1.63 blocks per game and fourth with 8.7 rebounds per game. Jeanette Pohlen is second in the conference with 4.57 assists per game and leads the loop with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.98.
Stanford In The NCAA Tournament
This year's NCAA Tournament marks the 23rd straight appearance for the Cardinal and the program's 24th overall. Heading into Tuesday's national title game, Stanford has now racked up an overall NCAA Tournament record of 61-21 (.744), won two national championships (1990, `92), reached four national title games, nine Final Fours (1990-92, `95-'97, `08-'09), 14 Regional Finals, and 17 Sweet 16s.
The Cardinal As A No. 1 Seed
Stanford enters Tuesday's national title game as the top seed and champion of the Sacramento Region. Overall, the Cardinal has now received a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament on seven occasions (1990, `92-'93, `96-'98, `10), going 24-4, winning two national titles and reaching five Final Fours so far.
Comfortable Start In A Comfortable Place
Stanford opened up play in the 2010 NCAA Tournament at Maples Pavilion, the 15th time the Cardinal had opened up at home in the postseason. After victories over UC Riverside and Iowa in the first and second rounds, respectively, Stanford is now 24-4 (.857) in NCAA Tournament home games.
Ogwumike Shines In Her Home State
Sophomore forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike set a national semifinal record with 38 points in Stanford's 73-66 victory over Oklahoma Sunday night, and also led all players with 16 rebounds. Ogwumike, playing in her home state of Texas, went 13-for-25 from the field as well as a clutch 12-for-13 from the free-throw line as she proved too much for the Sooner defense. The Cypress, Texas native cemented herself as a big-game player as she scored Stanford's final six points to help ice the game after the Sooners had cut things to three at 67-64 with 46 seconds remaining.
It Must Happen In Threes
Stanford's thrilling 55-53 Sacramento Regional Final victory over Xavier sent the Cardinal to its ninth Final Four, and third in a row. The unique part of the Cardinal's nine Final Four appearances is that they have come in three spurts of three years apiece. The Cardinal made its first three Final Fours from 1990-92, winning the national title in `90 and `92, then reached Final Fours four through six from 1995-97 and now have been among the last four standing from 2008-10, with national title game appearances in `08 and `10.
Kind Of A Trend Here
Stanford and Connecticut meet on the season's final weekend for the third straight season, with this Tuesday's matchup not only being the rubber game, but also the first of the three meetings to come in the national championship game. Two years ago, the Cardinal upset the Huskies, 82-73 in the national semifinal in Tampa, Fla. before Connecticut got its revenge last year, eliminating Stanford with an 83-64 win in the national semifinal in St. Louis.
Nation's Top Two To Battle For Trophy
Tuesday's contest between Stanford and Connecticut marks the first time since 2003 and the seventh time overall that the Associated Press Poll's top two teams will meet for the national championship. The Huskies and Cardinal have held the first and second spots, respectively, since the preseason poll back in early November, and will meet for the second time this season, as Connecticut defeated Stanford, 80-68 in Hartford on Dec. 23.