Both California and Stanford had huge opportunities on Thursday to make noise in the Pac-12 Tournament, while also catching the eyes of the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee in some fashion. But the Golden Bears and the Cardinal both took it on the chin from ranked conference opponents, losing badly in the spotlight. Thus, the two Bay Area schools will now wait for bids to the National Invitation Tournament early next week.
The task is straightforward but not simple: The Stanford men’s basketball team has to win two games in the Pac-12 Tournament in order to advance to the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinal put themselves in this position by losing seven of their last 10 games.
The Stanford Cardinal are firmly on the NCAA bubble, and they didn’t help themselves at all on Thursday night by losing to middling Pac-12 Arizona State on the road. Now Stanford absolutely must beat the Arizona Wildcats, ranked No. 5 in the country, on Saturday night if they want to make it to March Madness.
The Stanford Cardinal men’s basketball team lost to the Oregon Ducks at home Sunday night by a score of 73-70, and that leaves the team with an 18-10 record this year—including just 9-7 in Pac-12 play with a road trip to Arizona looming at the end of the week. The Cardinal will need at least one win in their final two conference games to secure a winning league record, a key mark for the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee.
Even through the praise from coaching mentor Mike Krzyzewski when he departed Duke to lead his own program at Stanford, or the constant chatter over the past year about Johnny Dawkins’ uncertain future if the Cardinal failed to reach the tournament — he has somehow ignored it all.
Johnny Dawkins only needs to glance down at his roster and see four seniors listed to feel a little better about Stanford’s chances this season. After all, that’s four more than last year.
Stanford men’s basketball coach Johnny Dawkins has signed a two-year contract extension that takes him through the 2015-16 season with the Cardinal.