ST. LOUIS- Fueled by one of its stingiest defensive efforts of the year, Stanford upset No. 10/10 Kansas 60-57 on Sunday afternoon to advance to the NCAA Sweet 16 at next weekend’s South Regional in Memphis, Tenn.
The Cardinal (23-12, 10-8 Pac-12) has reached the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2008, which was Stanford’s last appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Next up is a matchup against No. 11 seed Dayton on Thursday at 4:15 p.m. PT. The other South Region semifinal pits No. 1 seed Florida against No. 4 seed UCLA.
No. 10 seed Stanford, which smothered No. 7 seed New Mexico in a 58-53 victory on Friday, improved to 5-2 this season against top-25 competition with Sunday’s upset of No. 2 seed Kansas.
Kansas, which entered the contest averaging 79.6 points per game while shooting 49.8 percent overall, was held well below its usual totals. The Jayhawks led for only three minutes while projected NBA lottery pick and leading scorer Andrew Wiggins was limited to four points on 1-6 shooting in 34 minutes.
Last thought on Stanford/Kansas: One “reason” I’m not seeing much of re: Wiggins’ day is that he ran into Josh Huestis. The man can defend.— Raphielle Johnson (@raphiellej) March 23, 2014
Dwight Powell’s 15 points led four Cardinal players in double figures while Chasson Randle pitched in with 13. Anthony Brown and Stefan Nastic contributed 10 points apiece as Stanford shot 44.7 percent overall and 18-26 from the foul line.
Josh Huestis totaled only six points and eight rebounds but was largely responsible for shutting down Wiggins, who was clearly bothered by Stanford's interior size.
Congrats to @Coach_Dawkins ! Coached a great game! Enjoy the moment and tell the boys great defensive effort! Proud of you all— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) March 23, 2014
Making the win even more impressive was Stanford’s 0-9 clip from three-point territory. The Cardinal had knocked down at least one three-pointer in 422 consecutive games dating back to a 0-6 outing against Purdue on Nov. 24, 2001 in the John Wooden Tradition.
Stanford more than held its own against Kansas on the glass and chalked up a 30-20 points in the paint advantage. The Cardinal held a 37-35 edge on the boards over the Jayhawks, one of the nation's top rebounding teams. Huestis grabbed a team-high eight rebounds with Powell adding seven caroms.
The Cardinal also received a lift from its bench, although more in the form of timely plays than high scoring totals. John Gage added four points and three rebounds, holding his ground in the frontcourt when Nastic and Powell got into foul trouble. Marcus Allen came up with a key steal in his four minutes of action while Grant Verhoeven canned his first bucket in over a month, connecting on a jumper to extend Stanford's lead to seven in the second half.
Tarik Black had 18 points and six rebounds for the Jayhawks, but he fouled out with 5:25 to go. Conner Frankamp had 12 points on four 3-pointers, the last two in the final 23 seconds to make it close after Stanford had pulled ahead by seven.
Stanford finished 9-12 from the foul line over the final 2:04, led by Anthony Brown's 6-9 overall clip. Brown converted one of two free throws with 12.9 seconds remaining to secure the win.
Kansas went to a full-court press down five points with about 11 minutes to play and forced five turnovers the next six minutes to tie it.
Stanford was poised to enter halftime with a lead until Frankamp's three-pointer gave Kansas a 24-22 edge at the break.
NOTES: Stanford improved to 23-15 all-time in the NCAA Tournament ... Stanford reached the Sweet 16 in 2008, with victories over Cornell and Marquette. The Cardinal also advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2001, 1998, 1997 and captured the NCAA championship in 1942 ... Stanford’s 5-2 record against top-25 foes also includes victories over No. 10/10 Connecticut, No. 17/13 Oregon, No. 23/25 UCLA and No. 17/17 New Mexico ... Kansas leads the all-time series 8-3 but Stanford has won the last two meetings, including the most recent matchup on Dec. 6, 2003 when the Jayhawks were ranked No. 1 in the nation ... Stanford is operating as a No. 10 seed for the second time in school history ... Of Stanford’s 35 games to date, 18 have come against NCAA Tournament teams ... Stanford has received less than 10 points from its bench in 20 games this year ... The Cardinal held its opponent to under 60 for the 11th time this year ... Chasson Randle finished with a career-high six steals. Randle also played 40 minutes for the second straight game and fifth time this year ... Stefan Nastic finished 4-5 from the field and is now shooting 22-24 (91.7 percent) over his last six games ... Josh Huestis tallied two blocks, increasing his career school-leading total to 186.