Women's preview: Stanford vs. North Carolina

Staff writerMarch 26, 2011 

What: Spokane Regional semifinals When: 11:30 p.m. today Where: Spokane Arena, Spokane, Wash.

North Carolina (28-8)

Coach: Sylvia Hatchell

Best win: 83-57 over Miami on March 5

Worst loss: 83-57 to No. 1 Connecticut on Jan. 17

Scouting report: The Tar Heels are playing some of their finest basketball of the season entering the regional semifinals. They are benefiting from the superior play of three seniors in forward Jessica Breland and guards Italee Lucas and Cetera DeGraffenreid. They have discovered a balance between their up-tempo pace and inside post play. They will need a strong performance from the post to overcome a physical Stanford team, while Lucas, the team's leading scorer, can make a difference from beyond the 3-point line. The Tar Heels won the NCAA title in 1994.

Stanford (31-2)

Coach: Tara VanDerveer

Best win: 71-59 over No. 1 Connecticut on Dec. 30

Worst loss: 91-71 to DePaul on Feb. 16

Scouting report: The Cardinal is looking to return to the Final Four for the fourth consecutive season and is seeking its third national championship. The Cardinal has faced UNC just once, winning 81-71 in the round of 16 of the 1995 NCAA tournament in Los Angeles. Seniors Kayla Pedersen and Jeanette Pohlen play a critical role for the Cardinal, along with sisters Nnemkadi and Chiney Ogwumike, who pound opponents in the paint. Stanford averages 80.0 points per game, while allowing 54.8.

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