|Baylor [#1/1 (38-0)] vs. Stanford [#2/3 (35-1)]
Sunday, April 1, 2012 | 8 p.m. CT
Denver, Colo. | Pepsi Center (19,028)
FULL FINAL FOUR INFORMATION
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The top-ranked Baylor Lady Bears, NCAA Division I's lone undefeated team with a school-record 38-0 mark, are the NCAA Championships' overall No. 1 seed.
After downing UC Santa Barbara (81-40) in the first round, the Florida Gators in the second round (76-57), 15thranked Georgia Tech (83-68) in the Sweet 16 and ninth-ranked Tennessee (77-58) in the Elite Eight, BU will play in the Final Four for the second time in three seasons and third time overall.
Baylor is led by a trio of double-digit scorers on the season. Junior post Brittney Griner, National Player of the Year candidate, unanimous AP All-American and 2012 U.S. Olympic Team finalist, leads the Big 12 with 23.4 points per game while sophomore guard Odyssey Sims, an AP All-American, manages 14.8 a contest, and junior forward/post Destiny Williams scores 10.2 an outing. Junior guard Kimetria Hayden adds 9.2 a game. Griner, Williams and junior forward/post Brooklyn Pope are the team's top rebounders with Griner averaging 9.4 a game, Williams manages 9.2 a game and Pope manages 5.5 per game. Sims is also averaging 4.4 assists and 3.0 steals per contest while Griner manages a nation's best 5.2 blocks per game.
Sunday's matchup between top-ranked Baylor and No. 2 Stanford features the nation's top two teams facing off for the third time this season and 45th time in women's basketball history. In non-conference action in Waco, Baylor downed then-No. 2 Notre Dame (94-81) and then-No. 2 UConn (66-61).
Stanford is making its fifth straight Final Four appearance and 11th overall.
The nation's only unanimous 2012 AP All-Americans, Stanford's Nneka Ogwumike and Baylor's Brittney Griner, both from the Houston area, will meet on the court on Sunday.
• For the first time since 1989 (Maryland, Auburn, Louisiana Tech, Tennessee) and just second time in NCAA women's basketball history, all four No. 1 seeds have advanced to the Final Four. Kim Mulkey was an assistant on the 1989 Louisiana Tech staff.
• Baylor is making its second Final Four in the past three seasons and its third overall (2005, `10, `12).
• Baylor's senior class of Terran Condrey, Ashley Field and Lindsay Palmer are 129-19 (.872) in four seasons with five Big 12 titles, four NCAA Tournament trips and a pair of Final Fours to their resume.
• The Lady Bear junior class is 99-13 (.884) in three seasons.
• Baylor's matchup with No. 2 Stanford marks the third time this season top-ranked Baylor has faced the nation's secondranked squad. It topped both Notre Dame (94-81) and UConn (66-61) in Waco, when each were No. 2 in the polls.
• Sunday's matchup between No. 1 Baylor and No. 2 Stanford marks the 45th time in women's basketball history the top two teams have met, the top-ranked team has won 26 of 44 meetings.
• Prior to Sunday's contest, the top two teams have met three times in one season only four times (1981, 1989, 2002).
• Baylor is 11-0 vs. Top 25 teams this season, including 4-0 vs. Top 10 opponents. Baylor's scoring margin vs. ranked opponents is +17.3, while its rebounding margin is +7.5.
• Odyssey Sims is averaging 20.5 points per game vs. BU's 11 ranked opponents and 14.8 on the season.
• Baylor broke its own NCAA season blocks record of 277 set in 2010, as the Lady Bears have registered 302 blocks this season; led by Brittney Griner's 199, Sune Agbuke's 27, Jordan Madden's 24, Destiny Williams' 20 and Brooklyn Pope's 18.
• Baylor has already set three Big 12 Conference single-season records and is on pace to break four more. Records set - rebounds, 1,722 (breaking own record set last season, 1,646); assists, 699 (OU, 677 in 2001); blocks, 302 (BU 277 in 2010).
BAYLOR IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
Baylor is competing in its ninth straight and 11th all-time NCAA Tournament, as all appearances have come since head coach Kim Mulkey assumed the program's helm. BU is 26-9 in NCAA Tournament games, including 10-1 in first round games, 7-3 in second round games, 4-3 in the Sweet 16, 3-1 in the Elite Eight, 1-1 in the national semifinals and 1-0 in championship games. BU has won its first-round game in each of its last 10 NCAA trips, and has reached the Final Four for the second time in the last three years and thrid all-time (2005, `10, `12).
CAN THEY MAINTAIN PERFECTION?
If Baylor is able to remain perfect this season, it will become the first basketball team, male or female, in NCAA history to produce a 40-0 record. The Lady Bears will have to win two more games in the 2012 NCAA Championship to achieve the feat.
The 14 undefeated NCAA champions include: 2010 UConn women (39-0), 2009 UConn women (39-0), 2002 UConn women (39-0), 1998 Tennessee women (39-0), 1995 UConn women (35-0), 1986 Texas women (34-0), 1981 Louisiana Tech women (34-0), 1976 Indiana men (32-0), 1973 UCLA men (30-0), 1972 UCLA men (30-0), 1967 UCLA men (30-0), 1964 UCLA men (30-0),1957 North Carolina men (32-0), 1956 San Francisco men (29-0),
BAYLOR'S 38 WINS
Baylor is the fifth women's team in the NCAA era to reach the 38-win mark in a single-season, joining:
39--Tennessee, 1998; Connecticut, 2002, 2009, 2010
Baylor's 38-0 start to the season ranks as the fifth-best start since 1982; following Tennessee's 39-0 mark in 1998 and UConn's 39-0 mark in 2002, 2009 and 2010.