The Stanford Cardinal needed to win four of their final five games in order to have a chance at going to the 2014 NCAA tournament. That stretch includes games against No. 4 Arizona Wildcats, the Colorado Buffaloes, the Arizona State Sun Devils and the Utah Utes. The five game stretch included a game against the No. 23 UCLA Bruins, but Stanford got off to a good start to the five game stretch, by beating the Bruins.
The Cardinal just couldn’t miss. They went 62 percent from the floor and 55 percent from three-point range compared to 45 percent from the floor and 33 percent from three points range for UCLA. Casson Randle had 26 points and Josh Huestis had 22 in a must-win game for Stanford; the Cardinal stepped up when they had to. Steve Alford has done a fantastic job with the Bruins so far, but it wasn’t good enough to beat Stanford, who won 83 – 74.
Stanford deserves to go to the 2014 NCAA tournament. It has eight losses, but it has wins over good teams that include the Connecticut Huskies and now UCLA. The Cardinal lost to the Michigan Wolverines by three, as well as Arizona by three; they could pull of some major upsets in the tournament.
Stanford is considered a fringe bubble team at the moment, but the win over UCLA means that their 2014 NCAA tournament dreams are far from over. The PAC-12 is heating up, and Stanford may be the new second best team in the conference.