March 21, 2013
Stanford Cardinal (19-14, 9-9 Pac-12)
Alabama Crimson Tide (22-12, 12-6 SEC)
Saturday, March 23, 2013 9 a.m. PT NIT Second Round
Tuscaloosa, AL Coleman Coliseum (15,383)
Tournament Seeds: Alabama (1), Stanford (4)
Series History: Alabama leads 2-0
Last Meeting: Alabama 70, Stanford 67 (March 20, 2004 at Seattle, WA)
Radio: KNBR 1050 AM (PBP: John Platz, Analyst: Drew Shiller)
TV: ESPN (PBP: Rich Hollenberg, Analyst: Miles Simon)
The Opening Tip
Stanford (19-14, 9-9 Pac-12) continues defense of its Postseason NIT crown on Saturday, traveling to Alabama (22-12, 12-6 SEC) for a second-round matchup. The Cardinal has been tabbed a No. 4 seed in its region while the Crimson Tide checks in as the No. 1 seed. The Stanford-Alabama winner faces either Maryland or Denver early next week.
Saturday's game can be heard live on KNBR 1050 AM and Stanford's official athletics website, www.gostanford.com, featuring the chemistry-rich duo of John Platz (play-by-play) and Drew Shiller (analyst). The game will be televised live on ESPN, with Rich Hollenberg (play-by-play) and Miles Simon (analyst) describing the action.
About The 2013 Postseason NIT
The 76th edition of the Postseason NIT boasts a strong 32-team field. Included in the mix are 21 teams with at least 20 wins and 10 automatic qualifiers who won their regular-season conference title. The field also includes two other Pac-12 teams, with No. 3 seed Arizona State joining No. 6 seed Washington. 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 April 2-4.
One of four No. 1 seeds in this year's NIT draw, Alabama (22-12, 12-6 SEC) advanced to the semifinals of the SEC Tournament. The Crimson Tide owns a 15-3 home record ... Alabama is making its 12th appearance in the Postseason NIT, notching a 22-14 record during that stretch. The Crimson Tide earned a runner-up finish in 2011 ... The Crimson Tide, which was picked to finish fourth in the SEC preseason media poll, opened the year with six straight victories before losing six of its next eight games ... Alabama is averaging 63.1 points and 32.7 rebounds per game while shooting 43.0 percent overall. The Crimson Tide's defense allows only 58.5 points per game ... Be sure to watch: Trevor Relaford (15.2 ppg, 48.3 percent FG, 42.3 percent 3FG, 82.4 percent free throws), Trevor Lacey (11.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 106 assists), Rodney Cooper (10.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg), Nick Jacobs (7.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 37 blocks).
Stanford All-Time Against Alabama
Stanford is winless in two attempts. The teams last matched up in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on March 20, 2004, with the Crimson Tide pulling a 70-67 upset. As a No. 8 seed, Alabama shocked No. 1 Stanford, which entered the game at 30-1 overall.
Stanford All-Time In The Postseason
Stanford is 36-20 all-time in 24 postseason appearances overall, including a 13-4 record in seven NIT appearances. The Cardinal has claimed two NIT championships, winning in 1991 and 2012. Stanford owns a 21-15 record in 16 NCAA Tournament appearances and captured the 1942 title. Stanford posted a 2-1 mark in its only season of CBI competition.
Searching For Rare NIT Title Repeat
Stanford will attempt to capture its second straight Postseason NIT title, after defeating Minnesota 75-51 in last year's championship game. The only other programs to claim back-to-back NIT championships are St. John's (1943, 1944) and South Carolina (2005, 2006).
Takeaways From The Stephen F. Austin Game
Dwight Powell registered his 10th double-double of the year, finishing with 12 points and 15 rebounds to lead Stanford past Stephen F. Austin 58-57 in the opening round of the NIT ... Despite not scoring over the final 3:52, Stanford held on for the victory when Desmond Haymon's last-second jumper fell short ... Stanford held an 18-2 edge in bench points, thanks mainly to Gabriel Harris (nine points, three rebounds, 18 minutes) and Robbie Lemons (six points, three boards, 16 minutes) ... The last time Stanford won a game while scoring under 60 points was Feb. 12, 2012, when the Cardinal topped USC 59-47 ... Aaron Bright added 11 points (4-11 FG, 3-6 3FG). Dating back to last year, Bright has reached double-figure scoring in nine of his last 10 games during the month of March. Bright has scored in double digits 11 times this year ... Stanford shot 40.4 percent overall but was 7-16 from three-point territory, with four different players knocking down at least one triple. The Cardinal was also 9-13 from the foul line ... Stanford's biggest lead in the second half was seven points at 51-44 while Stephen F. Austin held an eight-point advantage midway through the first half ... Stephen F. Austin, which shot 43.1 percent overall, was just 3-11 from long distance. The Lumberjacks, led by Taylor Smith's 18 points, were outrebounded 33-29 ... Stanford won for only the third time this year when trailing at halftime ... The Cardinal has now made at least one three-pointer in 388 consecutive games, dating back to an 0-6 performance against Purdue in the John Wooden Tradition on Nov. 24, 2001.
NIT Run Will Require Different Path This Year
If Stanford is to return to New York this year, the journey will be much different than last season. As the No. 4 seed, the Cardinal must win at No. 1 seed Alabama on Saturday and then defeat either No. 2 seed Maryland or No. 3 seed Denver on the road next week. In 2012, Stanford beat Cleveland State 76-65 in the opening round but received an immediate boost when top-seeded Arizona and second-seeded Mississippi were upset in their openers. The Cardinal then parlayed its sudden home-court edge into wins over Illinois State (92-88 OT) and Nevada (84-56).