Though possibly feeling the pain of watching all four Pac-12 teams advance to the round of 32 (and at least 3 to the Sweet 16 at this point), Stanford continues their run in the second round of the 2015 National Invitation Tournament tonight.
The #2 seed Cardinal (20-13, 9-9 Pac-12) battles against #3 Rhode Island (23-9, 13-5 Atlantic 10), a team that finished second in conference play and is making their 15th NIT appearance. Rhode Island is also coached by Bill Murray's son.
Stanford holds a 3-0 record all-time against the Rams, with the team's last win being an emphatic 79-77 triumph in the Midwest Regional Final of the 1998 NCAA tournament. Rhode Island will be looking to win back 17 years of revenge from a team that denied them their first Final Four bid in program history.
The Rams, with five players scoring in double digits, topped Iona 88-75 in the opening round of the NIT. Rhode Island is allowing just 59.8 points per game, while their opponents are shooting just a slim 26.9% from the 3-point arc. However, the Rams don't do too much damage from beyond the arc themselves; shooting 30.1% percent from three-point range while averaging 67.7 points a contest. Stanford will need to keep a close eye on sophomores E.C. Matthews (16.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 73.7% FG) and Hassan Martin (11.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 99 blocks) if they want to advance.
Marcus Allen scored a career-high 22 points and All-Pac-12 First Team pick Chasson Randle added 18 as the Cardinal defeated UC Davis 77-64 in the opening round of the NIT Tuesday. Randle remains just 62 points away from becoming the program's all-time leading scorer, looking to top Todd Lichti (2,336) while remaining just 45 points behind Adam Keefe (2,319) for second all-time.
If Anthony Brown's all-around style continues to shine, Stefan Nastic confidently anchors the frontcourt, and both Allen and Randle continue their impressive energy, Stanford should have a great chance to be headed to round number three and closer to their third NIT trophy in program history.
Here's how you can see the two team's square off for the first time during the 21st-century tomorrow:
HOW TO WATCH:
IN PERSON: Maples Pavilion, Tickets
WHEN: Sunday, March 22, 6:30 PM (PT)
LISTEN: KNBR 680 AM