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NCAA Basketball March MadnessStanford Cardinal

Stanford Basketball Proves They Can Beat The Elite With Win Against Kansas

Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

Anthony Gruppuso – US PRESSWIRE

After upsetting New Mexico on Friday, the Stanford Cardinal proved they are no joke with a win against No. 2 seed Kansas Jayhawks on Sunday. Although the Jayhawks were without premier center Joel Embiid, Dwight Powell and company, were able to weather the storm against a good Kansas team. Behind head coach Johnny Dawkins, Stanford could realistically make a National Championship run.

Chasson Randle played in every minute in this tightly-constested matchup. In those 40 minutes, Randle had 13 points, six steals and four rebounds. To help Randle out, Powell added in 15 points and seven rebounds. It should also be noted that Powell played most of the second half with four fouls. Josh Huestis was also a huge x-factor for the Cardinal, as his energy was felt on both sides of the court. Huestis is Stanford’s all-time leading blocker. In this game, Huestis had two blocks that were crucial in deciding this game’s momentum.

Stanford’s defense in this game was stifling. Andrew Wiggins will probably be a top-five pick in this year’s draft, and he was held to only four points. In the previous four games, Wiggins averaged 28 points per game. Kansas committed 14 turnovers in this game, and they shot 32 percent from the field. To go along with Kansas’ ineptitude on offense, they also had 22 team fouls in this game. In fact, it only took four minutes in the second half for the Jayhawks to get into foul trouble.

The Cardinal will now travel to Memphis to play the No. 11 seed Dayton Flyers. Many did not expect Stanford to make it to the Sweet Sixteen, but they will now be a favorite against a lower seed. Against Dayton, the Cardinal have a realistic shot to make the Elite Eight. Their style of defense and toughness is making them a dangerous team to play. The trio of Randle, Powell and Huestis is lifting this team. While they are still flying under the radar, the Cardinal are dark horse candidates to come out of the South bracket.

Ryan Ratty is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @RyanRattyNFL or add him to your network on Google+.