STANFORD, Calif. - The "Nerds" are headed East for the NCAA women's tournament.
With Stanford not hosting the NCAAs at home in Maples Pavilion this March, coach Tara VanDerveer wanted a neutral site, where her team wouldn't have to play an opponent on its own court. She got her wish with a 3,000-mile trek.
The No. 2 Cardinal earned the top seed Monday in the Fresno region - Baylor, Connecticut and Notre Dame were the other No.1 seeds - and will travel to Norfolk, Va., to face No. 16 seed Hampton (26-4) in the first round Saturday.
"We don't mind going to Old Dominion. That's a place that has great basketball tradition," VanDerveer said. "We have major incentive to win down there."
And not only were they the first team announced, a snippet from the team's new music video - recently debuted "Nerd City Kids" written by star sister tandem Nnemkadi and Chiney Ogwumike - was played during the selection show. It had nearly 13,000 hits on YouTube by Monday night. Chiney Ogwumike wrote the lyrics, adapted from the rap tune "Rag City," in about 40 minutes.
"All we do is win is the swag that we bring," so the song goes. "Nerd City Kids, Nerd, Nerd City Kids. A's, A's, A's and B's on my transcript."
Hearing that was a hoot.
"First we started jumping up because we were the first team they announced, then we started jumping up because they showed our video. We were surprised," Chiney Ogwumike said. "It was a double whammy!"
The Cardinal back up its "Nerds" nickname fairly well. Through the fall quarter, Chiney Ogwumike had a 3.46 cumulative grade point average, sister Nneka a 3.10 and sophomore Toni Kokenis a 3.27. Freshman Erica Payne led the way at 3.71.
Stanford (31-1) won its 12th straight league regular-season crown and is riding a school-record 28-game winning streak since a 68-58 defeat at UConn on Nov. 21. The Cardinal, seeking a fifth straight trip to the Final Four, hasn't won a national title since 1992.
Like the men, the Pac-12 women got only two NCAA tournament bids.
California, the Pac-12 runner-up, earned a No. 8 seed in the Raleigh region and will face Iowa at Notre Dame on Sunday.
Stanford's potential second-round foes next Monday are No. 8 West Virginia and No. 9 seed Texas. If the Cardinal advance, it should draw well in Fresno from March 24-26. But Stanford may have to beat No. 2 seed Duke or No. 3 seed St. John's - which ended UConn's 99-game home-court winning streak in February - to win the regional.
Overall No. 1 seed Baylor (34-0), which would become the NCAA's first 40-win team with a second national title, opens against UC-Santa Barbara (17-15) Sunday in Bowling Green, Ohio.
To reach the Final Four, the Bears might have to beat Tennessee, which is trying to win a ninth NCAA title for coach Pat Summitt, who said in August she'd been diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type.
"These six games are what we've been waiting on and we're ready to go," said Baylor's Brittney Griner, the 6-foot-8 junior phenom.
Before a potential matchup with Baylor, Tennessee could meet Delaware and the nation's leading scorer, Elena Delle Donne, who is averaging 27.5 points.
Baylor beat Tennessee and No. 1 seeds UConn and Notre Dame earlier this season.
UConn hopes to win its eighth national title and will start against Prairie View. UConn coach Geno Auriemma thought this team was too young to win a title, but it has developed over the past five months and beat Notre Dame for the Big East tournament crown.
Notre Dame, which faces Liberty first, lost the NCAA title last season to Texas A&M, which is a No. 3 seed in the Irish's Raleigh region.