Stanford, Oregon State Clash For Fourth Time In 2009, This Time In CBI Semi
March 24, 2009
Stanford Cardinal (20-13, 6-12 Pac-10)
Oregon State Beavers (15-17, 7-11 Pac-10)
The Opening Tip
One more victory and Stanford (20-13, 6-12 Pac-10) earns a spot in next week's CBI best-of-three championship series. Standing in the way is a familiar foe, as the Cardinal squares off against Oregon State (15-17, 7-11 Pac-10) in Corvallis on Wednesday night in the semifinals. It will be the fourth meeting of the year between the two programs, with the Beavers currently holding a 2-1 edge.
Wednesday's game can be heard live on KTRB AM 860 and Stanford's official athletics website, www.gostanford.com, with the chemistry-rich tandem of Dave Flemming (play-by-play) and John Platz (analyst) handling the broadcast chores. Rich Cellini (play-by-play) and Craig Ehlo (analyst) provide coverage on HDNet.
About the CBI
Now in its second year, the CBI features a single-elimination, 16-team field with the first three rounds of competition to be played at campus sites. The championship is a best-of-three series, with both finalists guaranteed at least one game on their home court. Last year, Tulsa captured the inaugural CBI championship with a pair of wins over Bradley in the best-of-three series. Of the CBI's 17 possible games, 11 will be televised nationally on HDNet.
Stanford Against The CBI Field
Heading into this year's tournament, Oregon State was the only team in this year's CBI field that Stanford had already faced. The Beavers swept the regular season series with a pair of double-digit victories before the Cardinal posted a 62-54 win in the Pac-10 Tournament play-in round. Now the two squads will meet up for a fourth time.
Stanford Against Other Postseason Fields
While Stanford's potential CBI opponents are relative unknowns (there are eight opponents in the tourney that the Cardinal has never faced in its 94-year history), the same cannot be said for at least two other postseason tournaments. Stanford faced off against seven of this year's NCAA Tournament participants, posting a 5-9 record. Of the 32 teams selected for the NIT, Stanford battled two squads and came away with a 2-1 mark. Stanford did not play any teams that qualified for this year's CollegeInsider.com Postseason Basketball Tournament.
Scouting Oregon State
One year after finishing 6-25 overall and 0-18 in Pac-10 play, Oregon State (15-17, 7-11 Pac-10) has shown improvement under first-year head coach Craig Robinson. The Beavers opened the month of March with their third different four-game losing streak of the year, but have won both their first two CBI games by five points combined (49-45 over Houston, 71-70 over Vermont in overtime). Oregon State, 11-7 at Gill Coliseum, is averaging only 59.5 points per game but connecting on 46 percent from the field. However, the Beavers are allowing only 62.7 points per game, averaging 28.4 rebounds per game and shooting just 65 percent from the charity stripe. Make sure to watch: Calvin Haynes (14.0 ppg, 44.1 percent from the field), Roeland Schaftenaar (9.8 ppg, 46.2 percent from the field, 101 assists, 26 steals), Seth Tarver (7.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 58 steals) and Lathen Wallace (7.1 ppg, 40.4 percent from the field).
Stanford All-Time vs. Oregon State
Oregon State owns a 70-59 edge in the all-time series, which dates back to 1915. For the first time since 1992-93, the Beavers won back-to-back games in the series by sweeping both meetings in the regular season. But the Cardinal rebounded with a 62-54 victory in the play-in round of the Pac-10 Tournament. Prior to this year, Stanford had won six in a row and 17 of the last 18 meetings overall since 1999.
Who To Watch Against Oregon State
Lawrence Hill has averaged 12.6 points and 4.3 rebounds per game in nine career meetings. Hill has canned more three-pointers (12) against the Beavers than any other Pac-10 club. He did most of his damage during his sophomore season, with a 24-point, eight-rebound performance on the road and a 23-point, seven-rebound effort at home. Josh Owens is a perfect 8-9 from the field in five games while Mitch Johnson is just 10-30 from the field in eight games. Jeremy Green torched Oregon State for 19 points in the team's second meeting this year in Corvallis.
Cardinal-Beavers Part 4? I'm Confused...
Thanks to a decision from the CBI to re-seed the tournament bracket for the semifinals due to geographical reasons, Stanford and Oregon State will be matching up for the fourth time this year. This marks the first time Stanford has faced an opponent four times in the same season since the 1962-63 campaign when the Cardinal played three different teams (UCLA, USC, Washington) four times. Stanford has also faced California and Oregon four times in the same season. And during the 1935-36 campaign, Stanford hooked up with USC six different times with the Cardinal claming a 5-1 edge and the games decided by an average of 4.6 points. UTEP plays at Richmond in the other semi.
That Might Be Your Trend, But It's Not Ours
The CBI might only be in its second year of existence, but event organizers are quick to highlight the tournament's high number of close games and compelling matchups. Games in the CBI have been decided by an average of 7.0 points, compared to higher average point differentials in the NCAA Tournament (12.7 points) and NIT (9.9 points). And while it's only been two games, Stanford has left no doubt in its first two CBI contests, winning by an average margin of 17.0 points. In fact, that's more in line with Stanford's success this year as 14 of the Cardinal's 20 victories have come by double-digits,
20 In The Books, Looking For More
With a 70-56 win at Wichita State on Mar. 23, Stanford recorded its 20th season with at least 20 victories. Following up last year's 28-8 mark, this is the first time since 2002-03 (24-9 overall) and 2003-04 (30-2 overall) that Stanford has posted back-to-back 20-win campaigns. Furthermore, Stanford managed to extend a pair of lengthy streaks with its 75-63 rout over USC back on Feb. 28. That triumph clinched a winning record for the 16th consecutive season and gave the Cardinal at least 16 wins for the 16th straight year.
Stanford Joins Elite Company With Non-League Success
Stanford is one of only four teams in NCAA Division I competition with an undefeated record (13-0) in non-conference play. The other programs yet to lose a non-league game were all awarded No. 1 seeds in this year's NCAA Tournament: North Carolina (15-0), Pittsburgh (14-0) and Connecticut (13-0). Stanford has finished non-conference play unbeaten on five other occasions, most recently in 1955-56 with an 8-0 mark. As one would expect, Stanford's non-conference numbers this year have been outstanding. Nine of the 13 victories have been decided by double-digits, the club's victory margin is +17.0, four players are averaging at least 10.6 points per game and Stanford has reached the 100-point plateau twice while averaging 80.2 points per game.
Road Warriors...Outside The Pac-10
Stanford has now won six straight non-conference road games, a streak that began with last year's 67-43 victory at Colorado.
Stanford All-Time In The Postseason
Advancing to the postseason for the 16th year in a row, Stanford has now compiled a 30-19 record in 22 postseason appearances. The Cardinal, which sports a 21-15 record in 16 NCAA Tournament appearances, captured the 1942 championship, reached the Final Four in 1998, advanced to the Elite Eight in 2001 and moved on to the Sweet 16 in 1997 and 2008. Stanford is also 7-4 in five NIT appearances. The Cardinal most recently played in the NIT three years ago and also claimed the 1991 championship. And after a 70-56 victory over Wichita State two days ago, Stanford is 2-0 in CBI competition.