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No. 2 Stanford excited to take run at National Championship

Stanford Cameron Brink - The Canadian Press

The Stanford Cardinal head into the 2024 NCAA Women’s March Madness tournament as a No. 2 seed as they try to capture their first National Championship since 2021.

The Cardinal were the PAC-12 regular season champion, but were upset 74-61 in the tournament final by USC, who then went on to earn one of the National No. 1 seeds.

Senior Cameron Brink leads the Cardinal into the tournament and she arrives with a full resume of honours.

The 22-year-old forward was named a first-team All American for a season where she has averaged 17.8 points, 12.0 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game.

She was also named the Pac-12 Player and Defensive Player of the Year as well as a finalist for Naismith Defensive Player of the Year.

Brink leads all active players with 406 career blocks.

Kiki Iriafen, a forward playing in her junior year, was named as an honourable mention on the All-American team.

Iriafen is averaging 18.6 points and 11.0 rebounds per game for the Cardinal.

This has already been a historic season for Cardinal head coach Tara VanDerveer, who passed former Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski for the most wins in NCAA history earlier in the year.

The 70-year-old will be coaching in her 38th NCAA tournament.

Though Stanford seemed on track to get a top seed, VanDerveer is undeterred that her team will have to come from a number two slot.

“I don’t feel disappointed at all,” VanDerveer told Chris Plank and Nicole Auerbach on SiriusXM Radio. “We’re excited to be in the tournament, we’re excited about our bracket. We know we have to play well and the most important thing is not what you’re seeded, but how you play. I’m looking at it as a great opportunity for our team and our players.”

Stanford, who will be looking to improve on last year’s March Madness tournament where they were eliminated in the second round will open against the No. 15 Norfolk State Spartans before facing either No. 7 Iowa State or No. 10 Maryland if they are victorious.

The Cardinal have captured the women’s tournament three times (1990, 1992, 2021) and made 15 appearances in the Final Four.


Barring upsets, these are the teams Stanford will face on their way to the Final Four:
No. 15 Norfolk State
No. 7 Iowa State
No. 3 NC State
No. 1 Texas