The Stanford women's basketball team starts its journey to Dallas almost exactly 503 miles north, in Manhattan, KS. Making its 30th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, the Cardinal (28-5) received a No. 2 seed when the NCAA women's basketball selection committee announced the field Monday.
Stanford was placed in the Lexington Regional and will open its tournament against No. 15 seed New Mexico State (24-6) at Kansas State on Saturday. Host No. 7 seed Kansas State (22-10) andNo. 10 Drake (28-4) will play in the other first-round matchup, with the winners meeting in Monday's second-round contest at a time to be determined.
As one of the nation's top 16 overall seeds, Stanford would customarily host first- and second-round games, but is unable to this season. The Pac-12 women's gymnastics championships, which rotate to host sites around the conference each year, will take place in Maples Pavilion on Saturday.
Stanford and New Mexico State will be meeting for the first time on the hardwood. The Aggies are riding a 17-game winning streak and last weekend captured their third straight WAC tournament crown with a 63-48 victory over Seattle University.
Texas is the No. 3 seed in the regional.
Stanford earned its 30th consecutive and 31st overall NCAA Tournament bid by collecting the Pac-12's automatic berth into the field after winning its 12th conference tournament championship.
Since its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1982, Stanford has won two national championships (1990, 1992), reached 12 Final Fours (1990-92, 1995-97, 2008-12, 2014), 18 Elite Eights, 23 Sweet 16s and compiled an NCAA Tournament record of 80-28 (.741).
Stanford's 12 Final Four appearances are the third-most by any school entering this year's tournament, and its 31 overall appearances rank third behind only Tennessee (36 appearances) and Georgia (32 appearances).
Tennessee is the only school that has a longer active streak of NCAA Tournament appearances than Stanford's 30. The Lady Vols have earned a bid to all 36 NCAA Tournaments.
The Cardinal's 80 wins in the NCAA Tournament are third all-time behind Tennessee (123) and Connecticut (109), as are its 108 tournament games. Tennessee has appeared in 150 and Connecticut 126.
The Cardinal is a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the 11th time and first since 2014. Stanford has gone on to reach the Final Four as a No. 2 seed five times (1991, 1995, 2008, 2009, 2014), defeating the No. 1 seed in the regional final in 1991 (Georgia) and 2008 (Maryland). No. 2 seeds are 335-130 all-time in the tournament.
This will be the 12th time that the Cardinal has opened the draw away from Maples Pavilion. Stanford is 15-4 in first- and second-round NCAA Tournament games away from home and is currently on a 12-game winning streak.
The Pac-12 placed a record seven teams into the bracket, eclipsing the mark of six programs chosen in 2006. At least five Pac-12 schools have been selected each of the last four seasons.