(6) Stanford (27-6) vs. (1) Tennessee (29-3)
Game Info: 9:00 pm EST - Tue Mar 30, 2004
Midwest Regional Final - Lloyd Noble Center (Norman, OK)
As much success as Stanford has had in the NCAA tournament, the Cardinal know it's nothing compared to what Tennessee has accomplished.
``They have a good program and they have so much history,'' Stanford star Nicole Powell said. ``They are the ultimate powerhouse, and you can join them or you can beat them.''
The Lady Vols, who have won six national championships, will try to earn their 15th trip to the Final Four when they face the Cardinal in the regional finals.
Tennessee benefited from a controversial call in its 71-69 victory over Baylor on Sunday in the round of 16.
With the game tied at 69, Baylor's Jessika Stratton was called for a foul as time expired. The officials added 0.2 seconds to the clock, and Tasha Butts sank both free throws, giving the Lady Vols the win.
Even Tennessee coach Pat Summitt said she was disappointed with the ending.
``I hate to see a good game end like that,'' she said. ``Tonight was a situation where there were a lot of calls everybody is on edge about.''
Baylor said on Monday it planned to request a review of the play, but Summitt said the win was legitimate and any protest wouldn't affect her team.
``I told our basketball team after the game that in every postseason there is a game in which you are really tested, and you figure out a way to win and survive,'' Summitt said. ``Tonight was one of those games.''
Shyra Ely scored 19 points, and Butts added 16 for the Lady Vols, who have reached the regional finals in 18 of their last 22 seasons.
Stanford also reached the round of eight in dramatic fashion on Sunday, as Kelley Suminski hit a 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds left to give the Cardinal a 57-55 victory over Vanderbilt.
``I'm just so elated for Kelley. She's ready to cry,'' coach Tara VanDerveer said. ``I'm so happy for her. It was almost surreal. The clock was going down, Nicole found her and she knocked down the shot.
``It was just beautiful.''
Powell had 16 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists, and Suminski scored 11 points for Stanford, which also got 10 points from T'Nae Thiel.
The Cardinal will be making their first appearance in the regional finals since 1997, when they beat Georgia. They have made four Final Four appearances and won NCAA championships in 1990 and 1992.
Tennessee beat Stanford 70-66 in overtime on Dec. 14 despite Powell's 32 points and 16 rebounds. Powell missed her final 10 field-goal attempts, including potential game-winners in regulation and overtime.
Summitt said she's glad her team has already seen Powell play.
``I'd hate to think this was our first look at Nicole Powell,'' she said.
The Lady Vols lead the all-time series between the schools 15-4.
PROBABLE STARTERS: Stanford - F Powell (19.9 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 4.2 apg), F Thiel (7.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg), C Chelsea Trotter (6.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg), G Suminski (10.2 ppg, 2.9 apg), G Susan Borchardt (8.5 ppg, 2.6 apg). Tennessee - F LaToya Davis, (4.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg), F Ely (15.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg), C Ashley Robinson (8.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg), G Butts (10.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.9 apg), G Shanna Zolman (12.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg).
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Stanford - Automatic bid, Pac-10 champion; beat Missouri 68-44, first round; beat No. 2 Oklahoma 68-43, second round; beat Vanderbilt 57-55, regional semifinals. Tennessee - At-large berth; beat Colgate 77-54, first round; beat DePaul 79-59, second round; beat Baylor 71-69, regional semifinals.
ALL-TIME TOURNAMENT RECORD: Stanford - 40-15, 18 year. Tennessee - 83-16, 23 years.