Sept. 14, 1998
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Stanford's basketball team, with five starters returning from a 30-5 season and an appearance in the NCAA Final Four, has been ranked #1 in a pre-season poll by Athlon Sports College Basketball, one of the leading national pre-season magazines.
Athlon Sports College Basketball predicts Stanford will defeat Connecticut for the national championship. Duke and Michigan State are picked to be the other two teams in the NCAA Final Four.
Ironically, Stanford hosts UConn on Feb. 6 at Maples Pavilion. The Stanford-UConn game is among a marquee of games for the Cardinal in 1998-99. Other top non-league games include Maryland and Temple, two squads which will be ranked in many pre-season Top 10 polls. Stanford also is entered in the pre-season NIT. The NIT field includes North Carolina, Purdue, UMass, St. John's, Missouri and St. John's.
Stanford is among five Pacific-10 Conference teams (Arizona, California, UCLA, Washington) picked to be in the 64-team NCAA tournament by the magazine.
"The Cardinal has firmly established itself as a national power," said the magazine. "A conference crown would be nice, Stanford's first in 36 years. But it is poised to make a much bigger splash this eason. Mike Montgomery has pieced the puzzle together for three years, and no other coach has a better chance at claiming a national championship."
Athlon College Sports College Basketball is the first of several pre-season national magazines to hit the newstands over the next month.
In addition to Stanford being ranked #1 in the nation, five Cardinal players received pre-season accolades. Arthur Lee was named a third-team pre-season All-American, while Mark Madsen and Tim Young were accorded honorable mention All-America status.
The backcourt of Lee and Kris Weems was rated the nation's best backcourt, while Madsen, Young and Peter Sauer was rated the nation's best frontcourt.
Stanford men's and women's basketball teams will be unveiled at "Cardinal Chaos", Stanford's version of Midnight Madness on Friday, Oct. 16.