Stanford Earns Top Seed In Sacramento Regional; Will Face UC Riverside in NCAA Tournament First Round Saturday

March 15, 2010

STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford women's basketball, ranked second in the nation in both national polls, earned the No. 1 seed in the Sacramento Regional Monday and will face No. 16 UC Riverside Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at Maples Pavilion as the NCAA Women's Basketball Selection Committee announced the 64-team NCAA Tournament field.

The announcement marks the first time since 1998 that the Cardinal has earned a top seed in the NCAA Tournament. Saturday's first-round matchup will be the first-ever meeting between the Cardinal and Highlanders.

The winner of Saturday's Stanford-UC Riverside contest will face off in the second round Monday night at 6:30 p.m. against the winner of Saturday's game between No. 8 seed Iowa and No. 9 Rutgers. The Hawkeyes and Scarlet Knights will tip-off at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Both contests will be aired by one channel of the ESPN family of networks, including ESPN, ESPN2, and online on ESPN360.

Stanford (31-1) is coming off of its seventh double in program history, having once again captured both the Pac-10 regular season and tournament crowns in 2010. The Cardinal has reached the 30-win mark for the third consecutive season and the ninth time in program history, and put together a perfect 18-0 record in conference play to win its 10th straight Pac-10 regular season title.

Sophomore forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike has enjoyed a breakout season that has seen her lead the Pac-10 with 18.3 points per game and a 63.5-percent shooting percentage, while also grabbing 9.4 rebounds per game, good for second in the conference. Those numbers, including 13 double-doubles, have led to Ogwumike being named Stanford's 14th Pac-10 Player of the Year, the Pac-10 Tournament Most Outstanding Player and to the All-Pac-10 Team.

Senior center and 2009 All-American Jayne Appel, junior forward Kayla Pedersen and junior guard Jeanette Pohlen all also earned spots on the All-Pac-10 Team, while redshirt senior guard Rosalyn Gold-Onwude was named Pac-10 Co-Defender of the Year.

Stanford will make its 23rd consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament, and 24th overall. The Cardinal is two-time national champion (1990, '92) and has reached the Final Four on eight occasions (1990-92, '95-97, '08-09). Stanford has an overall NCAA Tournament record of 56-21 (.727).

This year, the Cardinal will play its opening contest of the draw at Maples Pavilion for the 15th time in program history. Overall, Stanford owns a record of 22-4 in NCAA Tournament games played at Maples Pavilion.

UC Riverside (17-15) punched its NCAA Tournament ticket with a victorious run through the Big West Tournament, culminating last Saturday with a 71-67 upset over top-seeded UC Davis.

The Highlanders, with head coach John Margaritis at the helm, finished third in the Big West regular-season standings with an 11-5 mark. UCR rebounded from a 3-12 start to the season to win 14 of its last 17 games and make the tournament.

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