Stanford senior Joslyn Tinkle would enjoy seeing a rematch with
Pac-12 Conference rival California. It would mean a lot to both
teams and the conference.
That, however, can’t come until the regional final – when the
Cardinal would be looking to reach a sixth straight Final Four.
Top-seeded Stanford looks to run its winning streak to 18 games
Sunday when it faces No. 16 seed Tulsa in the first round at Maples
Fourth-ranked Stanford (31-2) was given the No. 1 seed in the
Spokane Region of the NCAA women’s tournament. No. 6 California was
awarded the No. 2 seed.
“It’s a fun rivalry game, they’re a good team and we went at it
earlier in the year,” Tinkle said. “Sometimes if you get that far,
you don’t know teams that well. We’re so familiar and it’s great
competition. It would be awesome to see that game happen
Stanford and Cal tied for the Pac-12 regular-season title, with
the teams splitting the season series. The Bears were knocked out
of the conference tournament by UCLA in the semifinal.
“Not getting to play Cal in the championship makes it
different,” said Cardinal junior Chiney Ogwumike, who will bring a
22.4 scoring average and 13.1 rebounding average into the
tournament. “It’s not so fresh in our minds. We love the Pac-12 and
we want the Pac-12 to succeed. Honestly, I was excited to see Tulsa
on the bracket so we can have something to focus our energy
The Golden Hurricane (17-16) went just 8-8 in Conference USA
play during the regular season, but reeled off four wins in four
days in the league tournament to claim the conference’s automatic
Senior guard Taleya Mayberry, who averages a team-high 18.7
points, stepped up her game even more in the C-USA tourney.
Mayberry averaged 25.0 points and shot 53.3 percent to lift Tulsa
to its first NCAA appearance since 2006.
The Golden Hurricane upset fifth-seeded North Carolina State as
a No. 12 seed in that tournament, but an entirely different
challenge awaits Sunday.
Stanford just won its seventh straight Pac-12 tournament title
and leads the nation in opponents’ field-goal percentage (31.5) and
3-point percentage (23.5).
Despite all their success in the first four rounds of the
tournament since 2008, the Cardinal are looking for their first
national title since 1992. They lost to Baylor in last year’s
national semifinal and last reached the championship game in
Stanford has been eliminated by the eventual national champion
in each of the past five years.
Ogwumike will be looking for some redemption after being held to
a career-low three points in Stanford’s 51-49 victory over the
Bruins in the conference championship.
“I expected three people on me every game,” Ogwumike said. “I
like being inside a lot. I always expect the best of the defense.
The difference with UCLA was they were committed to it for 40
minutes. I’m excited to be back at Maples; it’s a special
The Cardinal will be without starting guard Toni Kokenis for the
rest of the year with an undisclosed illness. She has missed 11
straight games and 12 overall.