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NIT 2015: Stanford takes on Old Dominion in the Semifinals

For the third time in the past four seasons, Stanford is headed to Madison Square Garden for the NIT semifinals.

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As the past two games have showed, with wins over Rhode Island and Vanderbilt, the Cardinal have been matching up with teams the program has barely ever seen on the court. Stanford and Old Dominion have only met once before, which resulted in an 84-60 Cardinal victory in the first round of the Puerto Rico shootout on Nov. 23, 2000.

Old Dominion (27-7, 13-5 Conference USA), who made their last appearance in the NIT semifinals in 2006, tied for second in conference play and have won nine of their last 10 contests. The Monarchs do a great amount of damage on the defensive end, limiting opponents to just 56.8 points, which ranks eighth in the nation, and 39.8 percent shooting from the field. The team has also held their competition to a slim 30.8 percent from long range.

The Monarchs came up in the clutch to get to MSG, as Trey Freeman's 3-pointer at the buzzer punched their ticket to NY and gave them a 72-69 win over Murray State. Freeman (17.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 45.0% FG, 123 assists), who is Old Dominion's top scorer, poses arguably the biggest threat to Stanford's goal of getting back to the NIT championship. Look out also for junior guard Aaron Bacote (10.1 ppg, 84.4% FT, 2.8 apg) and senior forward Richard Ross (8.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 58.1% FG).

With Randle just 11 points away from the all-time Stanford scoring record, somebody will definitely be "Chasson" history on Tuesday night. After moving into second place during the win over Vanderbilt, Randle now only trails Todd Lichti (2,336) in his quest to become the program's top all-time scorer.

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Not only is the senior guard tackling the scoring record, but he has also established records for minutes played, games started, career three-pointers, and field goal attempts. He also ranks fourth all-time in the Pac-12 for scoring, in addition to becoming the 15th player in conference history and the first since 2003 to eclipse the 2,000 point mark in his final year with the Cardinal.

Though Randle will be undoubtedly the biggest focus of the game, make sure to keep an eye out for 5th year senior Anthony Brown. Brown, who was named the 2014 Pac-12 Most Improved Player, continues to aid Stanford with his impressive all-around style of play.

Aside from his impressive scoring outputs (15.0 ppg), team-leading 3-point shooting (43.3 percent) and rebounding (6.9 rpg), the 6-foot-6 guard/forward option is widely regarded as the team's best perimeter defender. Often put with the task of guarding an opponent's top scorer, watch for Brown to guard Old Dominion's Trey Freeman from the get go. In Stanford's 78-75 win over Vandy, Brown led the team in all major statistical categories (career-high 26 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists), adding to the praise of his unique skillset.

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Will Randle finally take over as Stanford's all-time scoring leader? Will Brown have yet another dominating, balanced performance? Will Stefan Nastic anchor the front court and lead the Cardinal to yet another NIT final? Here's how you can feel the intensity of Tuesday night's action:


WHEN: Tuesday, March 31, 6:00 PM (PT)