The Stanford Cardinal have been a 2014 NCAA tournament bubble team for a long time this season, but haven’t been able to get that marquee win necessary to solidify their spot in the Big Dance. Fellow PAC-12 members, the Washington Huskies have been unable to string together the wins necessary to get into the bubble talk. That’s why Washington’s 64-60 victory over Stanford hurt the Cardinal far more than the Huskies.
Washington looked like they wanted it more, and Stanford just couldn’t get their three pointers to fall. At just 18 percent from three, they couldn’t hang with the Huskies, who made seven. Stanford couldn’t handle Mike Anderson and despite 18 points from Dwight Powell and 17 points from Chasson Randle, they weren’t able to do enough to keep the Cardinal from sliding out of the NCAA tournament bubble due to a loss.
Stanford is now 6-5 in the PAC-12 and doesn’t have any wins over conference teams that are expected to go to the 2014 NCAA tournament. Their decent RPI and lack of bad losses don’t matter much if they don’t have marquee conference wins; their only marquee non-conference win was against the up and down Connecticut Huskies.
The Cardinal still have a legitimate opportunity to sneak into March Madness, however. With remaining games against the Arizona Wildcats, the UCLA Bruins and the Colorado Buffaloes, they have to win at least one of these games while avoiding losing to the weaker and mid-range teams in between. Stanford will be disappointed to have slipped up against Washington, but this team is far too talented to give up just yet.