Seven Pac-12 Women's Basketball Teams Head to Postseason Play
SAN FRANCISCO - ARIZONA STATE, CALIFORNIA, OREGON STATE, STANFORD and WASHINGTON all begin their postseason runs this weekend, earning bids to the 2015 Division I NCAA Tournament, the NCAA Women’s Basketball Committee announced today with the release of the 64-team field. UCLA and WASHINGTON STATE earned bids to participate in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.
Arizona State (27-5) earned a No. 3 seed and will host No. 14-seeded Ohio on March 21 at 3:30 p.m. MT in Tempe, Ariz. The Sun Devils are 14-12 in 12 NCAA Tournaments and are in their 21st postseason tournament. ASU finished in second place in the Pac-12 during the regular season and have been ranked inside the national top-10 for much of the last month.
California (23-9) earned a No. 4 seed and will host No. 13-seeded Wichita State on March 20 at 4:30 p.m. PT. The Golden Bears are appearing in their 11th NCAA Tournament and has a record of 10-10 all times in 17 post-season berth. The Golden Bears feature the coaches' pick for Pac-12 Player of the Year in Reshanda Gray.
Oregon State (26-4), which won its first-ever Pac-12 regular season championship this year, will be making its second-consecutive Tournament, this time as a No. 3 seed and will host No. 14-seeded South Dakota State on March 20 at 2 p.m. PT. The Beavers, who lost in the Pac-12 Tournament's first round, feature the media's pick for Pac-12 Player of the Year and the pick for Defensive Player of the Year in center Ruth Hamblin.
No. 4 seed Stanford (24-9) is making its 29th NCAA Tournament appearance and will host CSU Northridge on March 21 at 3:30 p.m. PT. The Cardinal have an overall record of 75-25 in 28 years. and have reached the Final four in six of the last seven seasons. Tara VanDerveer enters the NCAA Tournament one win shy of 800 at Stanford (799-165) in her Stanford coaching career. The Cardinal won its 11th Pac-12 Tournament title this year, defeating Cal, 61-60.
Washington (23-9) is making its 23rd post-season appearance and 17th in the NCAA Tournament, entering as a No. 6 seed, where it will face-off with No. 11-seeded Miami in Iowa City, Iowa on March 20 at 8 p.m. CT. The Huskies, feature one of the nation's top scorers in Kelsey Plum (22.8 ppg). Washington is 15-16 in 16 NCAA Tournaments.
The Pac-12 has had at least two teams in the NCAA Tournament every year of the event, which dates back to 1982, with five teams selected last year. The Conference has also had a representative in the NCAA Final five the last seven years. This year’s NCAA Final Four will be held at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., on April 5 and 7. Every round of the NCAA Tournament will be televised on the ESPN Network.
Washington State (17-14) earned its second-straight postseason berth, after also appearing in last year's WNIT. The Cougars will host Eastern Washington on Wednesday March 18. The Cougars will be joined in the WNIT by UCLA, which hosts CSU Bakersfield on Thursday March 19.