March 17, 2008
BERKELEY - The California women's basketball team earned a third consecutive NCAA Tournament selection for the first time in school history Monday when the 64-team field was announced on ESPN. The third-seeded Golden Bears, who earned an at-large bid, meet 14th-seeded San Diego in the first round on Saturday, March 22 at approximately 1:30 p.m. at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, Calif. The game can be seen on ESPN2 and listened to on KALX Radio (90.7 FM) in the Bay Area.
Fans can buy tickets for the Cal games by calling 800 GO STANFORD or through GoStanford.com. Be sure to ask for the Cal section.
The Cal team watched the selection show along with fans and media at the Haas Pavilion Club Room.
The California-San Diego winner will play the winner of the first-round game between sixth-seeded George Washington (25-6) and 11th-seeded Auburn (20-11) on Monday, March 24 at the same location. George Washington and Auburn play on Saturday at 11 a.m., also at Stanford. The four teams are playing for the right to advance to the Greensboro Regional on Sunday, March 30.
The Bears, who at 26-6 have set a school record for wins in a season, will be making their sixth NCAA Tournament appearance and third since 1993. The No. 3 seed is Cal's best in school history. Last season, eighth-seeded Cal lost to ninth-seeded Notre Dame, 62-59, in the first round of NCAAs in Pittsburgh, Pa.
San Diego boasts a 19-12 overall record and finished third in the West Coast Conference with a 7-7 mark, but upset top-seeded Gonzaga in the WCC championship game to earn the league's automatic bid. This will be the first meeting between the Toreros and the Bears. Cal has also never faced George Washington or Auburn on the hardwood.
Cal, which is ranked No. 8 in the USA Today-ESPN coaches' poll and No. 10 in the Associated Press poll, owns a 6-5 record against this year's NCAA Tournament field. The Bears hold three victories over Arizona State and victories over New Mexico, Fresno State and Vanderbilt, while they lost three times to Stanford and once each to second-seeded Rutgers and third-seeded Baylor.
The Pac-10 received three NCAA Tournament bids this season - California, Stanford and Arizona State. The Bears placed an all-time best of second in the Pac-10 with a 15-3 record, which was also their all-time best Pac-10 record.
Cal is led by the junior post tandem of Ashley Walker (15.0 ppg, 9.3 rpg) and Devanei Hampton (13.6 ppg, 8.2 rpg). Both athletes earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors, and junior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson (11.7 ppg, 39.8 3FG%) earned a spot on the All-Pac-10 second team.