March 12, 2012
Stanford Cardinal (21-11, 10-8 Pac-12)
Cleveland State Vikings (22-10, 12-6 Horizon League)
Date: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 8 p.m.
Site: Maples Pavilion (7,329) Stanford, CA
Tournament Seeds: Stanford (3), Cleveland State (6)
Series History: First Meeting
Radio: KNBR 1050 AM (PBP: John Platz, Analyst: Drew Shiller)
KZSU 90.1 FM (PBP: Jacob Jaffe, Analyst: Zach Zimmerman)
TV: ESPN2 (PBP: Roxy Bernstein, Analyst: Mark Adams)
The Opening Tip
Stanford (21-11, 10-8 Pac-12) has qualified for the postseason for the first time in three years and will square off against Cleveland State (22-10, 12-6 Horizon League) in the first round of the 2012 Postseason NIT. The Cardinal has been tabbed a No. 3 seed in its region and will host the Vikings in a first round contest on Tuesday, March 13 at 8 p.m.
Tuesday's game can be heard live on KNBR 1050 AM and Stanford's official athletics website, www.gostanford.com, featuring the insightful tandem of John Platz (play-by-play) and Drew Shiller (analyst). KZSU 90.1 FM provides coverage with Jacob Jaffe (play-by-play) and Zach Zimmerman (analyst). The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2, with Roxy Bernstein (play-by-play) and Mark Adams (analyst) calling the action.
Should Stanford advance, the Cardinal will face the winner of Mississippi/Illinois State.
Tickets for Tuesday's game will go on sale Monday, March 12, at 9 a.m. Lower level reserved seating is priced at $15 and upper level general admission is $10 ($8 for children and seniors). Admission is free for all students. Tickets can be purchased online at www.gostanford.com, by calling 1-800-STANFORD or in person at the Stanford Athletic Ticket Office.
About The 2012 Postseason NIT
The 75th edition of the Postseason NIT boasts a strong 32-team field. Included in the mix are 25 teams with 20 more wins and 11 automatic qualifiers who won their regular-season conference title. The field also includes three other Pac-12 teams, with No. 3 seed Oregon joining No. 1 seeds Washington and Arizona. The first three rounds are played at campus sites across the country, with the semifinals and championship game played at Madison Square Garden in New York on March 27-29.
Stanford Against The 2012 Postseason Fields
Scouting Cleveland State
Cleveland State (22-10, 12-6 Horizon League) is 6-6 all-time in postseason play (3-2 in two trips to the NCAA Tournament, 3-4 in four trips to the NIT) ... The Vikings are appearing in the NIT for the second consecutive season. It's the fourth postseason appearance in the last five years under head coach Gary Waters ... Cleveland State owned a 20-4 record through the first week of February. But the Vikings struggled mightily down the stretch, losing six of their final eight games ... Cleveland State, which finished second in the Horizon League behind Valparaiso, has been solid away from home this year (11-4 road, 1-2 neutral) ... Cleveland State averages 66.0 points and 32.0 rebounds per game while shooting 45.0 percent from the field. The Vikings allow only 59.6 points per game ... Be sure to watch: Trevon Harmon (12.9 ppg, team-best 71 three-pointers, 82.8 percent free throws), Jeremy Montgomery (10.8 ppg, team-best 100 assists) and Anton Grady (8.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 54.5 percent FG) ... Stanford and Cleveland State will be matching up for the first time on the hardwood.
Stanford-Cleveland State Common Opponents
Stanford and Cleveland State share one common opponent (Butler). The Cardinal dropped a 71-66 decision to Butler at Maples Pavilion on Dec. 22, as the Bulldogs shot 46.4 percent and rallied from a five-point halftime deficit. Meanwhile, Cleveland State split its season series against Butler. The Vikings won 76-69 on the road despite shooting only 23 free throws compared to the Bulldog's 42. In the rematch, Cleveland State lost 52-49 on their home court after falling behind early on thanks to 24.1 percent shooting in the first 20 minutes.
Stanford All-Time In The Postseason
Stanford is 30-22 all-time in 22 postseason appearances overall, including a 7-4 record in five NIT appearances. The Cardinal captured the 1991 Postseason NIT championship, defeating Oklahoma 78-72 in the title game. Stanford last appeared in the Postseason NIT in 2006, beating Virginia 65-49 at Maples Pavilion in the opening round before falling 76-67 to Missouri State on the road. The Cardinal is making its 23rd all-time postseason appearance, which includes a 21-15 record in NCAA Tournament play and a 2-1 mark in CBI competition.
MSG, NYC: Been There, Done That
Stanford is attempting to become just the fourth team to play at Madison Square Garden in both the Preseason and Postseason NIT during the same season. Also participating in the Preseason and Postseason NIT in the same year were Notre Dame (1999-00), Syracuse (2001-02) and Ohio State (2007-08).
Head coach Johnny Dawkins has led Stanford to its first 20-win season since a 20-14 finish during his rookie year in 2008-09. Only three other coaches in school history (John W. Bunn, Everett S. Dean, Mike Montgomery) have directed Stanford to a pair of 20-win seasons. The Cardinal was the only Pac-12 school with three victories against teams ranked among the RPI's top-50 (Colorado State, California and NC State). Stanford also swept the regular season series against Pac-12 Tournament champion Colorado, winning 84-64 at home and 74-50 in Boulder. The Cardinal placed seventh in the Pac-12 at 10-8, its first winning record in league play since 2008.
Pac-12 Tournament Recap
Stanford now owns a 13-14 all-time record in conference tournament competition after finishing 1-1 last week at the Pac-12 Tournament. The Cardinal trounced Arizona State 85-65 on Mar. 7 in the quarterfinals, shooting 47.3 percent and knocking down 10-19 three-pointers while Chasson Randle poured in a career-high 30 points (more on that in the following note). Stanford's run ended the following night with a 77-71 loss to California, as the Golden Bears shot 54.2 percent overall and 62.5 percent in the second half. Stanford led 30-23 at halftime and received a career-high 22 points from Andrew Zimmermann, but the Cardinal was outrebounded 38-32.
Owens Closing In On Milestone...
Josh Owens now stands 16 points away from 1,000 for his career. Should Owens reach the mark, he will become the 40th player in school history to reach the prestigious scoring mark. Even more impressive, Owens would become the 21st player in school history to end his career with at least 1,000 points and 500 rebounds.
...And Performing At A High Level
Josh Owens is also enjoying the best season of his career, ranking second on the club in scoring (11.6 ppg) and first in rebounding (5.7 rpg) while starting all 32 games. Active at both ends of the floor, Owens ranks second on the club in steals (34) and blocks (20). In addition to scoring in double figures 21 times, Owens has led Stanford in scoring on 12 occasions.
Winning The Rebound Battle
Stanford has owned a strong edge on the glass, averaging 37.0 rebounds per game compared to just 31.8 by its opponents. The Cardinal's rebounding margin (+5.2) ranks 31st in the country. Five different players are averaging at least 3.0 rebounds, led by Josh Owens' 5.7 clip.
70 A Key Number For Stanford
Stanford is to 15-1 when scoring at least 70 points in a game this year. The Cardinal is now 25-3 combined over the last two years when reaching the 70-point plateau.
Lineups Based On Matchups
Head coach Johnny Dawkins employed his 15th different starting lineup on Mar. 4 against California. Ten different players have received at least one starting nod this year. Meanwhile, Dawkins used 13 different starting lineups over the previous two seasons combined.
Balanced Scoring A Trademark
Jarrett Mann became the 12th Cardinal player to register a double-digit scoring effort with his season-high 10-point outing against Arizona State last week in the Pac-12 Tournament. That surpasses last year's total when 10 players reached double figures in scoring at least once.