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Originally published March 16, 2012 at 9:29 PM | Page modified March 16, 2012 at 9:39 PM

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Stanford opens NCAA tournament against hometown Hampton

The Cardinal had to travel across country to face a Hampton team that felt disrespected when it was made a No. 16 seed, and will be playing about 11 miles from its campus.

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NORFOLK, Va. — Stanford might have the most interesting situation for a top seed in the women's NCAA tournament.

The Cardinal had to travel across country to face a Hampton team that felt disrespected when it was made a No. 16 seed, and will be playing about 11 miles from its campus.

The Cardinal (31-1) and Pirates (26-4) meet Saturday at the Constant Center, after eighth-seeded West Virginia (23-9) and ninth-seeded Texas (18-13) meet in the opener.

Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said the hardest part about the game will be containing the Pirates' speed and quickness.

Once the ball goes up, seeding doesn't matter, forward Chiney Ogwumike said.

"Being a 1 seed is great, and the validation of hard work throughout the season, but basketball is a game of matchups," she said. "Either way, you win, you go on. You lose, you go home. It doesn't matter the number that goes in front of your school."

The Pirates, of the lightly regarded Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, set a school record for victories, are second only to Connecticut in scoring defense (46.8) and are in the tournament for the third year in a row. Last year, as a No. 13 seed, they fell 66-62 in overtime against Kentucky, proving to point guard Jericka Jenkins "that we can play with the big dogs."

That feeling carries over to this year, senior forward Keiara Avant said.

"I feel like, of course, we have a chip on our shoulder, making it last year with Kentucky into overtime," she said. "We knew that we could have sealed the deal but, this time, we're ready and we're going to be focused."

The game marks the start of the final tournament for Nnemkadi Ogwumike, Chiney's older sister, and the team wants to make it special for her.

Nnemkadi averages 21.8 points and 10.5 rebounds. Chiney 15.8 and 10.3.

Notes

Gena Johnson scored 16 points and Kendall Rodriguez had 15 to lead Pacific to a 77-62 victory over visiting Arizona State in a Women's National Invitation Tournament game. Alex Earl and Deja Mann each scored 14 points for the Sun Devils (20-12). Kimberly Brandon had 13 rebounds and 11 points.

• Miami senior guard Riquna Williams did not accompany the team to Spokane, where the Hurricanes are scheduled to face Idaho State in an NCAA tournament game. Coach Katie Meier said Williams did not make the trip because of conduct detrimental to the team. Meier declined to release any details.

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