No. 15 Norfolk State draws No. 2 Stanford in NCAA First Round

NORFOLK, Va. — The 2024 MEAC tournament champion Norfolk State University women’s basketball drew the Pac-12 Tournament runners up in No. 2 Stanford as their opponent in the NCAA Division I women’s basketball tournament. The announcement came Sunday night during the annual Selection Show on CBS. 

The Spartans will enter the 2024 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament as the No. 15 seed and are making their second consecutive appearance in the big dance.  

NSU will take on No. 2 Stanford, who has earned its 36th consecutive NCAA Tournament bid, in the First Round of the NCAA tournament. 

Norfolk State (27-5, 13-1) secured the MEAC title for the second consecutive year, defeating Howard, 51-46. It is the third overall conference tournament victory in Norfolk State’s history and their third trip to the Big Dance.  

The Spartans are led by MEAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player and Newcomer of the Year awardee, Diamond Johnson, and MEAC Player of the Year, Kierra Wheeler. Wheeler led the conference with 17.6 points and was second with 9.9 rebounds per game, while Johnson was the leading scorer in conference play with 19.6 ppg. In the conference tournament, Johnson set a scoring record for single game points in the MEAC Tournament with a 30-point performance in the semi-finals against Coppin State University. 

Stanford (28-5 overall, 15-3) captured the Pac-12 regular season champion title before the Cardinal came up short in the Pac-12 championship game to No. 5 USC.  Stanford is led by Pac-12 Player and Defensive Player of the Year, Cameron Brink, averaging 17.8 points and 12.0 rebounds per game.  Kiki Irifran earned Pac-12 Most Improved Player while ranked third in the conference in scoring, with 18.6 points and 11.0 rebounds per game.   

The pairing between Norfolk State and Stanford set for Friday, March 22, will be the first encounter between the two programs. The matchup will air on ESPN2 at 10 PM EST.