MEMPHIS- Seeking its first regional final appearance since 2001, Stanford (23-12, 10-8 Pac-12) faces Dayton (25-10, 10-6 Atlantic-10) on Thursday night in NCAA Sweet 16 action.
The game tips at 4:15 p.m. PT and will be televised on CBS with the crew of Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Len Elmore (analyst), Reggie Miller (analyst) and Rachel Nichols (sideline). The radio call is set for KNBR 1050 AM, featuring the insightful duo of Scott Reiss (play-by-play) and John Platz (analyst).
Stanford has reached the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2008, which was also the Cardinal's most recent NCAA Tournament appearance that included victories over Cornell and Marquette.
Back-to-back stingy defensive efforts have produced upsets of No. 10 New Mexico (58-53) and No. 2 Kansas (60-57) in the opening rounds. Over those two games, the opposition was held to 55.0 points, 34.5 percent shooting overall and 24.3 percent shooting from three-point territory. The Cardinal’s size advantage proved to be a key factor in both contests.
Dayton (25-10, 10-6 Atlantic 10) is making its seventh appearance in the NCAA Sweet 16 and first since 1984. The Flyers are 16-16 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. fter defeating Ohio State and Syracuse, Dayton has now won 12 of its last 14 overall. Dayton is averaging 72.5 points and 35.1 rebounds per game while shooting 46.4 percent overall and 37.6 percent from distance.
Stanford and Dayton feature only two common opponents: California and USC. Stanford was 3-1 against its Pac-12 rivals, splitting against California and sweeping USC. Dayton routed California 82-64 in Maui but dropped a 79-76 overtime decision to USC at home.
Meanwhile, it’s Spring Break on The Farm and that means a well-earned respite for Cardinal players, who spent last week wrapping up final exams in the hotel mere hours before competing in the NCAA Tournament. Last Thursday, 12 hours before facing New Mexico in the second round, Stanford players found time to knock out a total of 15 finals, the majority of which required three hours to complete. So if guys like John Gage (Programming Methodology), Josh Huestis (Cognitive Neuroscience), Stefan Nastic (Political Science) or Chasson Randle (Linguistics) appear a little less stressed this week, it’s for good reason.