March 10, 2012
STANFORD, Calif.- As conference tournament play concludes throughout the nation this weekend, Stanford will learn its postseason status on Sunday evening.
The Cardinal (21-11, 10-8 Pac-12) figures to qualify for some form of postseason play, with the 32-team NIT field serving as a possible destination. In fact, Stanford is included as an NIT participant in the most recent projections of two websites.
| www.nitology.com lists Stanford as a No. 7 seed, playing at No. 2 seed Northwestern in a first round matchup in the Iona Region.
www.bracketproject.blogspot.com projects Stanford as a No. 5 seed, facing No. 4 seeds Colorado, Nevada, Oral Roberts or St. Joseph's.
In addition to being the only Pac-12 school with three wins against teams ranked among the RPI's top-50 (64-52 over Colorado State, 75-70 over California, 76-72 over NC State), the Cardinal has won its most games since a 28-8 campaign that resulted in an NCAA Sweet 16 finish in 2007-08.
Stanford also swept the regular season series against Pac-12 Tournament champion Colorado, winning 84-64 at home and and 74-50 in Boulder. The Buffaloes earned the conference's automatic bid with a victory over Arizona earlier this afternoon.
A near-upset of then-No. 5/5 Syracuse in the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off championship game back in November ultimately resulted in a 69-63 loss to the Orangemen. However, the close defeat actually generated early momentum and allowed Stanford to gain national recognition, spending the next eight weeks in the receiving votes section of both national polls.
The NCAA Tournament selection show will be televised by CBS at 3 p.m. on Sunday, while the NIT selection show follows at 6 p.m. on ESPNU.