Three From Pac-10 Headed to NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Three Pac-10 women's basketball teams earned trips to the 2011 Division I NCAA Tournament, the NCAA Women's Basketball Selection Committee announced today with the release of the 64-team field. It is the eighth time in nine years at least three league teams participate in the NCAA Tournament.
Ranked No. 2 in the country, Pac-10 Champion STANFORD (29-2, 18-0) earned the No. 1 seed in the Spokane Regional, the team's second-consecutive No. 1 seed. The Cardinal, who captured the league tournament crown for the fifth-straight year, have advanced to the national title game in two of the last three seasons, making three trips to the NCAA Final Four in as many years. Stanford hosts Big West Champion and 16-seed UC Davis (24-8), #8-seed Texas Tech (22-10) and ninth-seeded St. John's (21-10) at Maples Pavilion for the first and second rounds on Saturday, March 19 and Monday, March 21, and opens its national-championship run against the Aggies. Making its 25th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament, the Cardinal have won its last 61-consecutive games in Maples, the second-longest active streak in the NCAA.
Pac-10 runner up UCLA (27-4, 16-2) makes back-to-back NCAA appearances for the first time since 1998-99 and 1999-2000 after putting together its best season in school history, winning a program-record 27 games. Last year's first-round tournament victory was the program's first since 2006. The third-seed in the Spokane Regional, Bruins travel to Spokane, Wash. to face #14 Montana (18-14), the Big Sky Champions, in the first round on Saturday, March 19. The winner of that matchup faces the winner of the #7-seed Louisville-#10 seed Vanderbilt first round game on Monday, March 21. The Bruins are making their 11th all-time appearance in the tournament.
Also making its 11th appearance in the tournament is ARIZONA STATE (20-10, 11-7), who makes a return to the "Big Dance" after a one-year absence. The Sun Devils boast two NCAA Elite Eight appearances in five years. The Sun Devils are the seventh seed in the Dayton Regional and open their postseason against 10th-seeded Temple (23-8), who earned an at-large bid out of the Atlantic-10. That game takes place Saturday, March 19 in Salt Lake City, Utah, with the winner facing #2-seed Notre Dame (26-7) or #15-seed Utah (18-16) in the second round on Monday, March 21.
The Pac-10 has had at least two teams in the NCAA Tournament since the first year of the event in 1981-82. The NCAA Final Four will be held in Indianapolis, Ind. on April 3 and 5.
All 63 games of the NCAA Tournament will be televised on the ESPN family of networks - ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN360.