March 13, 2005
INDIANAPOLIS -- Santa Clara University women's basketball program has advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time overall with today's selection to the 2005 Championships, as announced by the NCAA this afternoon on ESPN. As the Kansas City Region's 15th seed, Santa Clara will open the tournament against second-seeded Stanford. The game will air live on ESPN2 on Saturday at approximately 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time.
The Broncos earned one of 31 automatic berths after winning the West Coast Conference Championship with a 77-66 victory over No. 23 Gonzaga last Sunday, and watched the selection show as a team in the Leavey Center's University Suite. The Broncos were the last team announced in the bracket, and will travel to Fresno State University's Save Mart Center, one of eight hosts of the first two rounds. The winner of that contest will face the winner of the Iowa State/Utah game in the second round for the right to advance to the Sweet 16.
"It' nice to finally have an opponent," head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson said. "We've been focusing on ourselves all week, going back to the basics, but now it's time to focus on Stanford. We're very familiar with their team and we'll be ready to go against them on Saturday."
The Broncos are 17-13 overall and average almost nine made three-pointers per contest, ranking third best nationally. Santa Clara is 11-25 all-time against the Cardinal, with these two teams last meeting during the 2001-02 season.
Stanford is 29-2 overall and riding the second longest win streak in the nation, at 20 games. The Cardinal won the Pac-10 Tournament last weekend in San Jose and is led by freshman Candice Wiggins, the league's Player of the Year, who averages 17.3 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per contest.
Tickets will go on sale on Monday... Tickets are $25 to sit in the Bronco section of the arena. A youth price is available, but only for general admission seating. The ticket price is also only for the session that the Broncos are competing in.
Mountain View native and Bronco sophomore guard Yasemin Kimyacioglu will face her sister when these two teams meet in the first round, as Sebnem is a senior forward on the Cardinal squad. Additionally, Bronco redshirt sophomore guard Lauren Michalski will face her best friend, Cardinal junior center Brooke Smith. Both attended Marin Catholic High School. In a connection with the host institution, Bento-Jackson is a 1992 alumna of Fresno State University.
LSU tops the bracket as the overall No. 1 seed after going undefeated in Southeastern Conference play en route to its first regular-season conference title in school history. Tennessee, Michigan State and North Carolina round out the remaining No. 1 seeds.
The Atlantic Coast Conference placed the most teams in the championship bracket with seven, followed the Big 12 Conference with six. The 16, second-round winners will advance to the four regional sites: Chattanooga, Tenn., Tempe, Ariz., Kansas City, Mo., and Philadelphia, Pa. The four regional winners will meet in the NCAA Women's Final Four, April 3 and 5, at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis.