I was quite surprised to see Stanford listed among the "Last Four Teams In" in Joe Lunardi's latest Bracketology. That was before the Cardinal pummeled UC-Davis, so Stanford should be sniffing, what, a 6-seed now?
Sure, Stanford (7-3) doesn't have any bad losses. It also doesn't have any good wins. The Cardinal had an opportunity to build an NCAA Tournament-worthy resume during the early portion of the nonconference season, but it lost to Belmont (at home), Missouri and Minnesota in the span of four games. Close losses to the Tigers and Golden Gophers, who are a combined 19-2, on a neutral court aren't going to count for much come March.
Stanford is running out of time to earn a statement nonconference win, but there are two more opportunities this week, starting tonight with a visit to North Carolina State. A win over the Wolfpack at PNC Arena would look pretty nice. NC State's SB Nation blog, Backing the Pack, has a thorough preview of the game.
On Friday, Stanford travels to Evanston for a date with Northwestern, which wouldn't be an NCAA Tournament team if the season ended today. Still, road wins are hard to come by and Stanford really needs this one.
After Arizona, the Pac-12 is wide open. Stanford only plays the Wildcats once during the regular season, but that means it'll have one less opportunity to garner a really good win.
You don't need the Pac-12 Network to watch tonight's game. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. PT on ESPN2 and I'll launch a GameThread. Go Cardinal!