March Madness has begun, and World Financial Group, a proud sponsor of the Pac-10 Conference, enjoyed the “madness” of the Women’s Basketball tournament that was played this past weekend.  All 10 teams played until only one remained – and that team now goes to the NCAA tournament while three others also will be making post season appearances.  Only time will tell how this March Madness will end, but it’s been a lot of fun so far.

 

Tournament play started on Thurs., March 12 in the “play-in” games:

  • Tenth seed Washington upset 7th seed Oregon by a score of 69-43.  Washington guard Sami Whitcomb led in scoring with 28 points, the most scored in a first round game.
  • Ninth seed Arizona upset 8th seed Washington State 79-72.  Arizona’s Ify Ibekwe recorded her 16th double-double of the season.  WSU set a new record for three point goals in a single tournament game with 13.

The “play-in” games marked the first time both lower seeded teams would advance to the second round, which was played on Fri., March 13:

  • Sixth seed USC upset 3rd seed Arizona State 70-65.  Trojan Camille LeNoir scored 18 for USC, who also shot 50% from the floor in the first half.  Sun Devil Danielle Orsillo scored 17 points in the loss.
  • Second seed California easily defeated 10th seed Washington 61-41.  Golden Bear Ashley Walker scored 14 points and had 10 rebounds, most of those in the first half.
  • Top seed Stanford beat 9th seed Arizona 77-46.  Cardinal Kayla Pedersen had 11 rebounds in the first half alone.  Wildcat guard Courtney Clemens scored 14 points in the loss.
  • Fourth seed UCLA won over 5th seed Oregon State 62-56.  Bruins forward Atonye Nyingifa scored 18 points, but OSU guard Brittney Davis led all scoring with 22.

Semifinal action took place on Sat., March 14:

  • In the upset of the day, No. 6 USC beat No. 2 California 69-67.  This marked the third USC-Cal game decided by two points this season.  And it’s the eighth year in a row that the number two seed would not play for the championship.
  • Top seed Stanford had little trouble against No. 4 UCLA, winning by a score of 73-47.  This is the third time in four tries Stanford has defeated UCLA in the semifinals of the Pac-10 tournament.

The final was played on Sun., March 15.  And the World Financial Group sports fans joined others from around the country as 6th seed USC took on top seed Stanford in a game broadcast on Fox Sports Net.  The Cardinals took the lead early and never let go to win 89-64.  Stanford forward Kayla Pedersen led all scoring with 25 points.  Cardinal center Jayne Appel scored all her 12 points in the second half.  Trojan guard Camille LeNoir led USC’s scoring with 13 points in the loss.  Stanford has won six of the last eight Pac-10 Women’s Basketball tournaments. The postseason will have four teams playing.  Three will appear in the NCAA tournament and one will be in the Women’s NIT.  All games are at local time:

  • Having won the tournament, Stanford earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tourney.  They’ll be the number 2 seed in the Berkeley Regional and will face UC Santa Barbara on Sat., March 21 at 7:30 p.m. in San Diego.
  • California finds itself the 4th seed in the Trenton Regional of the NCAA tourney.  They will open play against Fresno State on Saturday at 5 p.m. in Los Angeles.
  • Arizona State has earned the 6th seed in the Trenton Regional.  Their first opponent is Georgia, also on March 21, in Duluth, Ga. at 1 p.m.
  • Finally, Oregon State has been invited to the Women’s NIT with a first round bye.  They will play the winner of the Portland-Portland State game on Saturday (time to be announced).

All of us at WFG wish to congratulate all these fine student-athletes for an exciting season of Women’s College Basketball.

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