STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford women's basketball earned the top seed in the Spokane Regional and will face No. 16 seed Tulsa Sunday, March 24 at 2:20 p.m. on ESPN2 at Maples Pavilion, the NCAA announced Monday.
No. 8 Michigan and No. 9 Villanova will play in the second first-round contest at Maples Pavilion following the conclusion of Stanford-Tulsa. The winners will meet in Tuesday's second-round contest at approximately 6:30 p.m.
Sunday's first-round contest will be the first meeting between Stanford and Tulsa (17-16, 8-8 Conference USA). The Golden Hurricane earned its second NCAA Tournament bid and first since 2006 by winning four straight games at the C-USA Tournament this past weekend, capping the run with a 75-66 win over Central Florida. Tulsa entered the conference tournament as the No. 6 seed.
The Golden Hurricane, guided by second-year head coach Matilda Mossman, is led by the play of senior guard Taleya Mayberry (18.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg) and senior forward Tiffani Couisnard (8.5 ppg, 9.1 rpg).
Stanford earned its 26 consecutive and 27th overall NCAA Tournament bid as the Pac-12's automatic qualifier by capturing its seventh straight Pac-12 Tournament title with a 51-49 win over UCLA on March 10. Sunday's opening-round contest against Tulsa will mark the 17th time that Stanford opens NCAA Tournament play at Maples Pavilion, where the Cardinal owns a 26-4 record in tournament games.
Monday's announcement also marks the 10th time that Stanford has earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Since its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1982, Stanford has won two national championships (1990, 1992), reached 11 Final Fours (1990-92, 1995-97, 2008-12) including the past five straight, 16 Elite Eights, 19 Sweet 16s and compiled an NCAA Tournament record of 69-24.
Stanford's 11 Final Four appearances are the third-most by any school entering this year's tournament, and its 27 overall appearances rank tied for third with Louisiana Tech behind only Tennessee, which has appeared in all 32 NCAA Tournaments, and Georgia (30 appearances).
The Cardinal heads into this season's tournament led by the play of consensus national player of the year candidate Chiney Ogwumike, the only player to rank in the national top six in scoring (22.4 ppg - sixth), rebounding (13.1 rpg - fourth), field-goal percentage (57.4 - fourth) and double-doubles (26 - t-first) through March 17. The junior from Cypress, Texas was named Pac-12 Player of the Year after becoming the first player to capture the conference's Triple Crown (leading the conference in scoring, rebounding and field-goal percentage at the end of the regular season), and earned her second straight Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year award.
A two-time National Player of the Week (Nov. 19, Jan. 28) and six-time Pac-12 Player of the Week this year, Ogwumike has been a key part of Stanford's 10-2 record in 2012-13 against Top-25 teams, averaging 20.1 points, 11.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks while shooting 49.5 percent from the field. On Nov. 16 she scored 18 points with eight rebounds in Stanford's 71-69 win over then-No. 1/1 Baylor in Honolulu, a win which catapulted the Cardinal into the No. 1 spot in the national polls for the first time since March 2005. Stanford would go on to hold the No. 1 spot for six weeks.
Senior forward Joslyn Tinkle and sophomore point guard Amber Orrange were also named to the All-Pac-12 Team following career years. Tinkle leads the Pac-12 in blocks (1.85 per game) and is averaging career highs of 11.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Orrange, meanwhile, is averaging 10.5 points and 4.15 assists per game and most recently scored a career-high 20 points, including the game-winning bucket with 8.3 seconds remaining, in Stanford's Pac-12 Tournament championship-game win over UCLA on March 10.