Stanford men’s basketball (2-1, 0-0 Pac-12) faced a nearly impossible challenge on Monday night, when they were asked to step into the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and take on the No. 7 ranked North Carolina Tar Heels (3-0). After a first half in which the Cardinal were manhandled, solid adjustments let Stanford remain competitive in the second period, and cut into the UNC lead. Ultimately, the effort was not enough, and Stanford fell, 90-72.
Basketball season is finally here. If you believe the numbers, last year marked a successful but otherwise unremarkable season for Stanford men’s basketball, where the team garnered eleven conference wins compared to their six in the year before. This was Stanford’s best Pac-12 record since 2008.
Senior forward Reid Travis declared his intention on Wednesday afternoon to transfer schools for his final year of eligibility.
The two-time All-Pac-12 First Team forward had declared for the 2018 NBA Draft, but waited until the final day to withdraw to announce he was not going to enter the draft and transfer for his fifth year.
With three seconds on the game clock, it looked like BYU sophomore TJ Haws would complete one of the best comebacks in college basketball this season. Luckily for the Cardinal, though, his three point shot hit rim.
Stanford men’s basketball (19-15) advance to the second round of the NIT by a hair, defeating BYU (24-10) 86-83 on Wednesday night in Maples.
Losing out on the NCAA Tournament can be a difficult fact to accept, but the ability to host NIT games is a decent consolation prize.
Third-seeded Stanford men’s basketball (18-15) will continue its season against sixth-seeded BYU (24-10) in the first round of the NIT.
The Cardinal needed to win the Pac-12 Tournament if it wanted a bid in March Madness, but it was eliminated by UCLA in the second round after Bruins guard Aaron Holiday scored 34 points to defeat Stanford 88-77.
The fourth-seeded UCLA Bruins (21-10) dominated the fifth-seeded Cardinal 88-77 in the second round of the Pac-12 Tournament on the strength of Holiday’s 34 points and eight assists in T-Mobile Arena.
In the previous battles against Cal this season, Stanford men’s basketball (18-14) had tough games against the last-place team in the conference.
But on Wednesday in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament, the fifth-seeded Cardinal took care of business against the twelfth-seeded Bears (8-24), defeating their Bay Area rivals 76-58 in T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Stanford men’s basketball (17-14, 11-7 Pac-12) is at a critical juncture in the program’s history. It has been a decade, head coach Trent Johnson’s final year, since the last time the Cardinal have had a conference record this good.
Stanford has the opportunity to show how dominant it can be with a deep run the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas starting on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. PT.
Standing in the Cardinal’s way in the first round is Cal (8-23, 2-16). Stanford is responsible for half the Bears’ conference victories and it could have been more as Cal has played the Cardinal tough in both games.