No. 10/11 Stanford Meets No. 25/25 Marquette In NCAA Tourney Second Round
March 21, 2008
NCAA Tournament Second Round
No. 10/11 Stanford Cardinal (27-7, 13-5 Pac-10)
No. 25/25 Marquette Golden Eagles (25-9, 11-7 Big East)
KZSU 90.1 FM (PxP: Daniel Novinson, Analyst: Ben Spielberg)
Westwood One (PxP: Dave Sims, Analyst: Bill Frieder)
The Opening Tip
Fresh off its first NCAA Tournament victory in four years, No. 10/11 Stanford (27-7, 13-5 Pac-10) looks to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2001 when it faces No. 25/25 Marquette (25-9, 11-7 Big East) on Saturday afternoon in the second round. The Cardinal had little trouble dispatching of Cornell 77-53 on Thursday while the Golden Eagles edged Kentucky 74-66. Stanford and Marquette have not matched up since the 1981-82 campaign.
Saturday's game can be heard live on KNTS 1220 AM and Stanford's official athletics website, www.gostanford.com. David Flemming handles the play-by-play duties while John Platz offers analysis. KZSU 90.1 FM provides coverage with Daniel Novinson (play-by-play) and Ben Spielberg (analyst). CBS will televise the game live nationally with Dick Enberg (play-by-play) and Jay Bilas (analyst).
Scouting No. 25/25 Marquette
Marquette (25-9, 11-7 Big East) defeated Kentucky 74-66 in the opening round to advance to Saturday's contest. The Golden Eagles have lost back-to-back games just twice all season, posting two lengthy winning streaks along the way. Marquette, 5-2 on neutral courts, dropped a 68-61 decision to Pittsburgh in the Big East Tournament title game last weekend. The Golden Eagles average 75.8 points per game, shoot 44.7-percent from the field and have racked up an incredible 322 steals. Keep an eye on: Jerel McNeal (14.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 122 assists, 75 steals), Lazar Hayward (13.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 78.0-percent free throws) and Dominic James (13.0 ppg, 45 three-pointers, 144 assists). Head coach Tom Crean enters his ninth year at the helm.
Stanford All-Time vs. Marquette
Stanford is winless in four tries against Marquette. These teams last hooked up on Dec. 22, 1981, with the Golden Eagles escaping with a 66-65 victory. The first three meetings took place on Marquette's home court, with the Golden Eagles also picking up wins during the 1980, 1959 and 1934 campaigns.
Stanford All-Time vs. Big East
Stanford is 10-26 all-time against Big East opponents. The Cardinal is winless against nine Big East opponents, including Marquette (0-4). Stanford's most recent contest against a Big East foe (Louisville), resulted in a 78-58 first round NCAA Tournament exit last year. Stanford's last victory against a Big East opponent came against Cincinnati back on Mar. 22, 2001, when the Cardinal defeated the Bearcats 78-65 in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in Anaheim, Calif.
Stanford/Marquette Common Opponents
Stanford and Marquette have only one common opponent this year- Sacramento State. The Cardinal routed the Hornets 84-58 at home back on Nov. 27 while the Golden Eagles did the same back on Dec. 15, winning by a 82-51 count at home.
Stanford All-Time In NCAA Tournament
Stanford owns a 20-14 record in NCAA Tournament competition and is making its 16th appearance overall. Prior to Thursday's 77-53 victory over Cornell, the Cardinal was winless in its last three NCAA Tournament contests with its most recent victory coming in the form of a 71-45 triumph over Texas-San Antonio back on Mar. 18, 2004, in the first round. Stanford 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.
Breaking Down The Seeding
Stanford has been assigned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the third time in school history. The last time the Cardinal was tabbed a No. 3 came during the 1997-98 campaign, drawing No. 14 College of Charleston as a first-round opponent in Chicago. Stanford went on to reach the Final Four that year, defeating Western Michigan, Purdue and Rhode Island along the way. Stanford was also awarded a No. 3 seed in 1989 but was upset by Siena in an opening round game in Greensboro, N.C.
It's Rare, And He'll Be Back
Cornell accomplished a rare feat on Thursday- limiting Brook Lopez to a single-digit scoring total. Lopez picked up three quick fouls and was unable to get on track going just 1-2 from the field with four points in 15 minutes. Lopez has been held to a single-digit point total 12 times in his career. In the 11 games that follow a single-digit outing, he is averaging 15.1 points per game while shooting 52.2 from the field.
Leave No Doubt
17 of Stanford's 27 victories have come by double-digits, including nine in a row to begin the year. The Cardinal has also won nine games by at least 20 points.
Cardinal Finds Scoring Balance
Stanford has placed at least three different players in double-figure scoring on 19 different occasions this year. Five different players reached double-figures in the Cardinal's Pac-10 Tournament victory over Arizona on Mar. 13, representing the third time that has occurred this year (five against Northwestern State on Nov. 10 and five against Harvard on Nov. 9).
Trent Johnson In The NCAA Tournament
Following Thursday's 77-53 victory over Cornell in the opening round, head coach Trent Johnson is now 3-3 in four NCAA Tournament appearances. During the 2003-04 season at Nevada, Johnson led the tenth-seeded Wolf Pack to victories over No. 7 Michigan State and No. 2 Gonzaga before suffering a loss to national runner-up Georgia Tech in the Sweet 16. Johnson guided Stanford to the NCAA Tournament in 2005 and 2007, falling in the first round on both occasions.
Trent Johnson Guides Cardinal To 27 Wins
Stanford's 27 wins are the most for a Trent Johnson-coached team, surpassing his final season at Nevada when he guided the Wolf Pack to a 25-9 mark. The Cardinal's 13 Pac-10 victories also match Nevada's 13 WAC wins during that same 2003-04 campaign.
Cardinal Well-Represented Among All-Pac-10 Awards
Brook Lopez earned a spot on the five-member All Pac-10 First Team while Trent Johnson was named Coach of the Year, as Stanford was well-represented among the 2007-08 Pac-10 men's basketball award winners. Anthony Goods, Mitch Johnson and Robin Lopez all received Honorable Mention recognition, giving the Cardinal four all-league selections for the first time since the 2003-04 campaign. Robin Lopez earned a spot on the All-Defensive squad while Brook Lopez and Fred Washington received Honorable Mention accolades. Johnson is the third Stanford coach to be named Pac-10 Coach of the Year, joining Dick DiBiaso (1976) and four-time winner Mike Montgomery (1999, 2000, 2003, 2004).
27 In The Books, Looking For More
Having already surpassed last year's win total (18), Stanford has established its ninth 25-win season in program history and first since a 30-2 finish in 2003-04.
Prior to the start of the Pac-10 Tournament, Stanford was ranked in the top-10 of both national polls (Associated Press, ESPN/USA Today Coaches) for five consecutive weeks. The Cardinal cracked the top-10 on Feb. 4, vaulting to No. 9 in both polls. Stanford peaked at the No. 7 spot on two different occasions. This year's club is the seventh in school history to achieve a top-10 national ranking in both polls at any point during the year.
Conference Streak Continues
Stanford picked up its 10th Pac-10 win of the year on Feb. 16 with a 67-66 win at Arizona. The Cardinal has now notched at least 10 conference victories for the 15th straight season.
The ability to shoot at least 40-percent from the field and hold opponents to under that same mark has been a key to victory for the Cardinal. Stanford is 19-1 when connecting at a 40-percent or better rate overall while holding its foes to a percentage under 40. Furthermore, only 11 teams have shot better than 40-percent in a game this year.
Milestones In The Making
One year after establishing the freshman single-season record for blocked shots (73), Robin Lopez is climbing the charts again. Against UCLA on Mar. 15, Robin Lopez moved past Curtis Borchardt (1999-2002) into second place on the all-time Stanford list. Lopez has totaled 80 blocks this year and now has 153 for his career. Next up: Tim Young (1994-99) with 167. Meanwhile, Mitch Johnson has dished out a team-high 164 assists this year to increase his career total to 365. That's good enough for eighth on the all-time list.
Stanford has been impressive on the glass, averaging 39.1 boards per game while limiting the opposition to just 30.6 per contest. Five different players are averaging at least 4.0 rebounds per game, led by an 8.3 clip from Brook Lopez. Stanford is outrebounding its opponents by an average of +8.4 and has only been outrebounded by five teams (Fresno State, California, Washington, USC, UCLA). The Cardinal pulled down 50 rebounds for the second time this year in its win over Arizona in the Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinals.
Share The Ball, Force Mistakes, Play Defense
Three of Stanford's trademarks this year have been the ability to share the basketball, force opponents into mistakes and play hard-nosed defense. The Cardinal has tallied more assists than its opponent 27 times this year, winning all but two games when that's the case. The tone was set in the season opener, when Stanford dished out 25 assists that led to 43 buckets in a 111-56 pounding of Harvard. It's been a different story for opponents, as Stanford has forced at least 10 turnovers on 24 different occasions this year. Finally, Stanford is allowing just 60.4 points per game and 39.2-percent shooting from the field while holding 18 opponents this year to 60 or points or less.
Brook Lopez Carrying The Cardinal
Against Washington State in the Pac-10 Tournament semifinals, Brook Lopez poured in 30 points on 11-22 shooting from the field while making 8-10 from the charity stripe in 37 minutes. He also pulled down 12 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the year. Lopez has been the Cardinal's leading scorer in 18 games this year. Lopez, who has played in 25 games and made 23 starts, is leading the Cardinal in scoring (18.6 ppg) and rebounding (8.3 rpg) while shooting 46.7-percent from the field and 77.4-percent from the foul line. Lopez has scored in double-figures in 23 games overall.
Robin Lopez Productive In The Post
Robin Lopez has developed into a tremendous rebounder and intimidating defensive presence. Lopez is averaging 10.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game while connecting at a 53.5-percent rate from the field. Lopez has scored in double-figures in 16 games overall, including a career-high 24-point performance against Yale on Nov. 20 that featured 12 rebounds and five blocked shots.
Running The Point
One of the Cardinal's most consistent performers this season, Mitch Johnson has played in every game and made 33 starts. He has established career-highs in minutes played (30.9), scoring (6.6 ppg), rebounding (4.4 rpg) and field-goal percentage (43.4). Johnson is best known for providing his teammates with scoring chances, as evidenced by a career-best 4.8 assists per game clip. Johnson has scored in double-figures seven times, poured in a career-best 16 points in a win at California on Jan. 26 and dished out at least five assists in a game on 18 different occasions.
Score At The Half
How will the Cardinal fare against an opponent? Enjoy the first 20 minutes then glance at the scoreboard. Stanford is 22-1 when leading at the half and 4-5 when trailing.