STANFORD, Calif.- Six years in between NCAA Tournament appearances, Stanford now has an opportunity to advance just as far this time around.
The 2007-08 edition of the Cardinal piled up 28 victories, the third-best total in school history and matching the 1941-42 NCAA championship squad. Led by NBA lottery picks Brook Lopez and Robin Lopez, the Cardinal was nationally-ranked throughout the year and climbed as high as No. 7.
This year’s team is much different, but the next step remains in play. Stanford (22-12, 10-8 Pac-12) squares off against second-seeded Kansas (25-9, 14-4 Big 12) in the third round on Sunday at 9:15 a.m. PT, with the winner moving on to next weekend’s South Regional semifinal in Memphis.
Coming off a 58-53 upset win over seventh-seeded New Mexico yesterday, Stanford is looking to pull off another shocker tomorrow.
Stanford's pep band treats Ws like an AC/DC concert. Photo of the tourney so far (USATSI) pic.twitter.com/SbwCano304— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) March 22, 2014
However, it’s not as if the Cardinal lacks for accolades. Of its 34 games to date, 17 have come against NCAA Tournament teams. The Cardinal ended the regular season No. 38 in the RPI, finished third in the highly-competitive Pac-12 and sports a 4-2 record against top-25 opponents. A challenging non-conference slate featured tilts against BYU, Pittsburgh, Connecticut and Michigan and two road trips to the East Coast.
The next obstacle will be the biggest yet. Ranked No. 10 in both national polls, Kansas is making its 25th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, the longest active streak in the country. The Jayhawks have won 10 straight Big 12 regular-season titles dating back to 2005.
Kansas leads the all-time series 8-2. Stanford notched a 64-58 win over then-No. 1 Kansas in the most recent meeting back on Dec. 6, 2003 at the John Wooden Classic in Anaheim, Calif. Prior to that matchup, the Jayhawks had won four in a row. Kansas has won both games played at neutral sites, including an 86-63 victory during the second round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament in a game that was also played in St. Louis.