After making it to the Final Four for the previous five seasons and advancing to the finals in two of those five years, the Card was stopped short last season by Georgia in the Sweet 16 — a disappointing end for a team that had started the season with a victory over defending NCAA champion Baylor and had proceeded to hold on to the No. 1 spot for six weeks.
Everything seemed to be going the way of the No. 4 Stanford women’s basketball team to start the regional semi-final game of the NCAA Tournament against No. 14 Georgia.
The Card (33-3, 17-1 Pac-12 ) started the game 9-0 and midway through the first half of the Sweet Sixteen, Georgia (28-6, 12-4 SEC) was still only 3-16 shooting from the field and trailing 11-4. National Player of the Year candidate Chiney Ogwumike was leading all scorers with eight points, shooting a perfect 4-4, while the rest of her team shot just 3-13.
With a 73-40 victory over Michigan at Maples Pavilion on Tuesday, the Stanford women’s basketball team booked its place in the Spokane Regionals next weekend. Senior Joslyn Tinkle hit a career-best five three-pointer in her final game at Maples Pavilion.
The No.1 seed Card (31-2, 17-1) turns its attention to the greater task at hand: The Big Dance. This year marks the programs 26th straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Sunday’s game against no.16 seed Tulsa is the start of Stanford’s journey to a sixth consecutive Final Four. The Card would become the only school in Tournament history to achieve that.
With star junior Chiney Ogwumike having the worst scoring game of her career in Sunday’s Pac-12 Championship game, sophomore point guard Amber Orrange stepped up against No. 14 UCLA to overcome a seven-point deficit and lead the Cardinal to a thrilling 51-49 victory.