February 19, 2007
Stanford now playing for seed
Heading into the 2006-07 basketball season, most Stanford fans were - or at least should have been - content with an NIT berth. This season, Stanford was just too young to compete to make the NCAA Tournament.
At least, that's what we thought. Stanford certainly proved us wrong though.
Every time things looked bad for Stanford this year, the Cardinal came back in a big way. This weekend was the epitome of that, as Stanford swept the Oregon schools without guard Anthony Goods.
There wasn't much of a reason to believe Stanford would beat Oregon this weekend. The Ducks weren't playing good basketball beforehand, but a win for Oregon was essential. If the Ducks lost, they would have been in seriously bad shape. Combine that with Goods' absence, and you really had to like Oregon's chances.
None of that mattered though. The Cardinal rose to the challenge once again and because of that, Stanford will make the NCAA Tournament.
As of today, Stanford has a 17-8 overall record, a 9-5 conference record, a 38 RPI and a 24 strength of schedule. As of today, you have to like the Cardinal as a six or a seven seed. However, that could go up or down, depending on how the team finishes.
This weekend, Stanford heads to the Los Angeles schools, which will provide the Cardinal with a very big opportunity. Two losses really wouldn't hurt Stanford's standing, but a win or two would be huge.
The Cardinal have nothing to lose this weekend, as both games will help the team's RPI and SOS, win or lose. A win though will help Stanford's seeding and if the Cardinal are going to be in the tournament, and they are, the higher the chances are of advancing, the better.
The last two games of the Pac-10 regular season are against Arizona State and Arizona. The Sun Devils should be defeated without too much difficulty, meaning the Arizona game could be a big one.
Really, that will be a game where the Cardinal could separate themselves from the underachieving Wildcats and improve their seeding even further. A loss to Arizona would be bad since it would mean the UA has beaten Stanford twice in one year.
Regardless, if you're a Stanford fan, you have to be happy with where the Cardinal stands with two weeks to go in conference play.
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