March 20, 2013
NCAA Tournament First Round
No. 4/4 Stanford Cardinal (31-2)
- vs. -
Tulsa Golden Hurricane (17-16)
Sunday, March 24, 2013 - 2:20 p.m. PT
Maples Pavilion (7,233) - Stanford, Calif.
Tournament Seeds: Stanford (1); Tulsa (16)
Series History: First Meeting
Last Meeting: None
TV: ESPN2 (P-x-P: Dave Pasch, Analyst: Mary Murphy)
Radio: 90.1 KZSU (P-x-P: Preston Chin)
Buy NCAA Tournament tickets here
Game Notes vs. Tulsa
Tulsa Game Notes
STANFORD, Calif. - No. 4/4 Stanford, the top seed in the Spokane Region, opens play in its 26th straight NCAA Tournament Sunday, March 24 hosting No. 16 seed and Conference USA Tournament Champion Tulsa. Sunday's 2:20 p.m. tip will be televised on ESPN2 with Dave Pasch and Mary Murphy on the call, and on the radio at 90.1 KZSU and http://kzsulive.stanford.edu with Preston Chin calling the action.
Last Time Out
The Cardinal captured its seventh straight Pac-12 Tournament crown and 10th overall March 10 with a thrilling 51-49 victory over No. 14/13 UCLA. Sophomore point guard Amber Orrange scored a career-high 20 points, taking over late in the game by scoring 10 of Stanford's final 12 points including the game-winning points on a layup with 8.3 seconds left. Orrange's burst helped the Cardinal come back from a 44-37 deficit with 7:18 remaining and outscore the Bruins 14-5 the rest of the way. Bonnie Samuelson hit a trio of 3-pointers for nine points and Mikaela Ruef scored eight points with four rebounds while Chiney Ogwumike, who was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked a pair of shots as the Cardinal defense held UCLA to just 27.9 percent shooting from the field.
Tulsa (17-16, 8-8 C-USA) earned its second NCAA Tournament berth and first since 2008 by defeating Central Florida 75-66 Saturday in the Conference USA Tournament final. The Golden Hurricane, guided by second-year head coach Matilda Mossman, are 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).
In Tulsa's previous NCAA Tournament appearance (2008), the 12th-seeded Golden Hurricane upset fifth-seeded North Carolina State 71-63 in the opening round before falling to host and No. 4 seed DePaul in the second round.
Sunday's contest will mark the first time that Stanford and Tulsa have faced off.
Against Conference USA
Sunday's contest is Stanford's second against a current member of Conference USA. Stanford's previous C-USA opponent in the NCAA Tournament was UTEP in the 2008 Second Round. The Cardinal defeated the Miners 88-54 behind 44 points from Candice Wiggins at Maples Pavilion.
In The Pac-12 Statistics
Through the end of the Pac-12 Tournament (March 10), Stanford ranked in the top three of 12 statistical categories amongst Pac-12 schools: scoring defense (51.9 ppg - first), scoring margin (+18.8 - first), field-goal percentage (45.3 - first), field-goal percentage defense (31.5 - first), 3-point field-goal percentage defense (23.5 - first), free-throw percentage (71.9 - first), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.18 - first), scoring offense (70.7 ppg - second), assists (14.12 apg - second), blocked shots (5.33 bpg - second), defensive rebounds (29.5 drpg - second) and rebounding margin (+7.4 - third). Individually, Chiney Ogwumike leads the conference in scoring (22.4 ppg), rebounding (13.1 rpg), field-goal percentage (57.4) and double-doubles (26), is third with a 78.0 free-throw percentage and 1.82 blocks per game. Senior forward Joslyn Tinkle leads the conference with 1.85 blocks per game and Amber Orrange is second in the Pac-12 with a 1.59 assist-to-turnover ratio and third with 4.15 assists per game.
In the National Statistics
Through the latest national statistical update (March 17), Stanford ranked in the top 20 of nine categories: field-goal percentage defense (31.5 - first), 3-point field-goal defense (23.5 - first), turnovers per game (12.0 - seventh), field-goal percentage (45.3 - eighth), scoring margin (+18.8 - ninth), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.18 - 12th), scoring defense (51.9 - 15th), blocked shots per game (5.33 - 16th) and personal fouls per game (13.2 - 19th). Chiney Ogwumike is the only player to rank in the national top six in scoring (22.4 ppg - sixth), field-goal percentage (57.4 - fourth) and rebounding (13.1 rpg - fourth) in addition to co-leading the nation with 26 double-doubles.
Stanford In The NCAA Tournament
This weekend opens up Stanford's 26th straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament and 27th overall. The Cardinal's 27 appearances rank tied for third overall with Louisiana Tech, behind only Tennessee, which has appeared in all 32 NCAA Tournaments, and Georgia, which is making its 30th appearance in 2013. The Cardinal's streak of 26 straight appearances is also the nation's second-longest current streak behind Tennessee's run of 32 straight appearances.
Stanford has also reached 11 Final Fours, third-best among all schools, and this year the Cardinal could become the only school to reach six straight Final Fours. Both Stanford and Connecticut have reached each of the past five events.
This year's No. 1 seed in the Spokane Region 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 At Maples Pavilion For The NCAA Tournament
Stanford will open up this weekend's NCAA Tournament action at Maples Pavilion for the 17th time since playing its first tournament game there in 1989. Over those previous 16 years of hosting NCAA Tournament action, the Cardinal has racked up a record of 26-4 at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal is on a six-game winning streak at home in tournament play, sweeping first- and second-round games in 2008, 2010 and 2011 since losing a second-round contest to Florida State on March 19, 2007.
Stanford As a No. 1 Seed
This year's tournament also marks the fourth straight year, and 10th time overall, that Stanford enters the draw as a No. 1 seed. Prior to the start of the current four-year run in 2010, the Cardinal had also received top seeds in 1990, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997 and 1998. Stanford won its two national titles as a No. 1 seed (1990, 1992) and as a No. 1 seed has reached the Final Four eight times (1990, 1992, 1996, 1997, 2008, 2010-12). Only once has the Cardinal failed to reach the second weekend of the tournament as a No. 1 seed, that occurring in 1998 when the top-seeded Cardinal, after losing two key players to knee injuries in the week leading up to the first round, was defeated by No. 16 seed Harvard 71-67.
Stanford Has Chance For Record Sixth Straight Final Four
Entering this year's NCAA Tournament Stanford is one of just three schools that has reached five straight Final Fours, having reached the signature event each of the past five seasons (2008-12). Like Stanford, Connecticut has reached the past five Final Fours and previously reached five in a row from 2000-04, while LSU reached five in a row from 2004-08. What's unique about these three schools is that that each of their five-year runs have overlapped, as the Huskies began their first run in 2000 and ended in 2004, when LSU's run began. The Tigers run ended in 2008 which was the first year of the current Stanford and Connecticut runs.
Chiney Ogwumike A Consensus National Player Of The Year Candidate
It has been quite a season for junior forward Chiney Ogwumike, who is a strong contender for every major national player of the year award heading into the NCAA Tournament. The Cypress, Texas native enters the tournament as the only player in the country 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). She became the first player to win the Pac-12 Triple Crown (leading the loop in scoring, rebounding and field-goal percentage entering the NCAA Tournament) and capture the Pac-12 Player and Defensive Player of the Year awards in the same season. Ogwumike's efforts, including her numbers against Top-25 teams, helped Stanford spend six weeks atop the national polls in November and December, the first time since 2005 that the Cardinal held the No. 1 spot in the nation.
Family Reunion For The Tinkles
No blame could be found for the Tinkle family if they press their luck by buying lottery tickets this week, as the past few weeks have featured the family experiencing unprecedented success. Cardinal senior forward Joslyn Tinkle helped Stanford nab Pac-12 regular-season and tournament titles, younger sister Elle brought home her own conference titles, earning WCC regular-season and tournament crowns as a freshman at Gonzaga, while youngest brother Tres helped lead Hellgate High School to a Montana AA Boys' title March 8. Not to be outdone, family patriarch and Montana men's basketball head coach Wayne Tinkle guided the Grizzlies to Big Sky regular-season and tournament titles, earning Montana its third NCAA Tournament bid in four years.
And as if things couldn't get any better for the Tinkles, the 13th-seeded Montana men were sent to San Jose for their second-round matchup with No. 4 seed Syracuse Thursday, making for a reunion of Joslyn, Wayne, Tres and family matriarch Lisa Tinkle, a former Lady Griz women's basketball standout and member of the school's Hall of Fame.
Tinkle Plays Her Final Weekend At Maples Pavilion
Although Senior Day was four weekends ago, senior Joslyn Tinkle will play her final game at Maples Pavilion this weekend as the Cardinal hosts opening-round NCAA Tournament action. The Missoula, Mont. native has built off of her breakout junior season and made 2012-13 a career year, earning her first All-Pac-12 Team nod by averaging career highs of 11.8 points and 5.7 rebounds with 61 blocked shots. Tinkle has scored in double figures 24 times this season and posted a pair of double-doubles, as well as hitting a career-high 33 3-pointers, making herself a solid inside-outside threat for Stanford. Tinkle's 61 blocks this year rank tied for the third-highest Stanford single-season total and her 145 career blocks are fourth-most on Stanford's career list.
Ogwumike Thrives Against Top-25 Competition
March 10's 51-49 win over then-No. 14/13 UCLA was the 10th of the season for Stanford against a Top-25 team. So far this season, the Cardinal is 10-2 in those games thanks in part to the performance of Chiney Ogwumike, who is making the best case for national player of the year honors. The junior forward, who is the only player in the nation ranked in the NCAA's top six in scoring, rebounding, field-goal percentage and double-doubles entering the NCAA Tournament, has turned up her performance over this season's 12 games against Top-25 teams, averaging 20.1 points and 11.8 rebounds while shooting 49.5 percent.
Stanford vs. NCAA Tournament Teams In 2012-13
Ten of Stanford's 2012-13 opponents went on to make the 2013 NCAA Tournament, and the Cardinal racked up a record of 13-2 against those teams. Besides Pac-12 foes California, UCLA and Colorado, addition Cardinal opponents reaching the Big Dance include Fresno State (Mountain West), Baylor (Big 12), Tennessee-Martin (Ohio Valley), Gonzaga (West Coast), South Carolina and Tennessee (SEC) and Connecticut (Big East).
Ruef Playing Like There's No Tomorrow
Another of Stanford's fourth-year players entering the tournament is redshirt junior forward Mikaela Ruef. While the Beavercreek, Ohio native has one year of eligibility remaining, her status for next season will be decided in the near future. In the meantime, Ruef has been playing the best basketball of her career this season, especially over the last two months. After missing all but three games in 2011-12 due to a foot injury, Ruef opened the year slowly as her injury continued to nag.
However, things turned on Nov. 16 against then-No. 1/1 Baylor as Ruef, making her first collegiate start, grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds and handled the point on defending reigning national player of the year Brittney Griner in Stanford's 71-69 victory in Honolulu. Ruef has gone on to start 26 games this season, averaging 6.6 rebounds and 2.30 assists a game, both second on the team, and since Feb. 8 (11 games) has averaged 7.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.45 assists and become one of the Cardinal's most rugged, toughest contributors.
Running The Point
Last year's NCAA Tournament propelled sophomore Amber Orrange into the spotlight as the Cardinal's point guard of the future. This year Orrange earned her first nod to the All-Pac-12 Team after averaging 10.5 points and 4.15 assists per game with a 1.59 assist-to-turnover ratio, second-best in the Pac-12. Since Feb. 22 Orrange has become a bigger threat shooting the ball, going 35-for-62 from the field (56.5 percent) and averaging 11.9 points. Orrange's offensive growth was never more apparent than in the Pac-12 Tournament Championship Game on March 10, when she scored a career-high 20 points on 9-of-15 shooting, including the game-winning layup with 8.3 seconds remaining to spur Stanford's 51-49 come-from-behind victory.
Earning Her Stripes
Stanford's starting five is rounded out by junior guard Sara James, a player whom Chiney Ogwumike has called "the most competitive person I've ever met." That competitive fire has served James well this year, a year in which the El Dorado Hills native has broken through into the Cardinal starting unit after two-plus years in a reserve role. After starting the opening game of the season against Fresno State, James returned to the bench where on Jan. 6 she fueled a lagging Cardinal offense by scoring a career-high 18 points and hitting three 3-pointers in Stanford's win at Utah on Jan. 6. Since returning to the starting five a game later, James has hit 22 3-pointers while playing both the shooting guard and small forward roles, and for the season is shooting 36.1 percent from the field and 32.0 percent on her 3-point attempts.