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NCAA Women's Tournament Bracket: Stanford Cardinal

The Tree stands tall again. It's just a little further away from the basket than usual.

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Who? The Cardinal of Stanford.

When do they play in the first round? The Cardinal will play Cal State-Northridge on Saturday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m. ET.

What? It's a color. It's not a bird, a religious figure, or even a kind of direction. And the ever-changing Tree is not a mascot, but a member of The One, The Only, The Truly Incomparable Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band.

Where? Palo Alto, California; the eponymous tree is over a thousand years old.

Why? They won the Pacific-12 conference tournament.

How? Taylor Greenfield had the biggest game of her Stanford career off the bench in Seattle, pouring in 20 points to help Stanford come back in the second half against Cal, 61-60.

Surprise? Predicted to finish first in the conference, they finished in fourth, three games back of Oregon State. On the other hand, it's Stanford in the Pac-12 tournament. You can't honestly say you're surprised, can you?

RPI: 19

SOS: 14

Record: 24-9 (13-5 Pac-12)

Good wins: UConn.

Bad losses: At Arizona. At Arizona, really, seriously, Tara are you serious?

Who's running this show? Tara VanDerveer, since 1985, named for Scarlett O'Hara's home sweet home.

Extra, Extra! The San Francisco Chronicle.

Senior guard Amber Orrange is the catalyst for Stanford, at 13.2 points and 3.5 assists per game. Sophomore guard Lili Thompson adds a team-high 13.4 points. Freshman forward Kaylee Johnson pulls down just a hair under ten boards per game.

Stanford is in an offensive transition, scheme-wise, from the post-heavy style of the Ogwumikes to a three-heavy style, and this Stanford team is not the powerhouse it once was.

Storyline to keep an eye on: freshman guard Brittany McPhee has come on strong in the last couple of weeks.