The Stanford Cardinal can still make the NCAA tournament, but their chances seem very slim. Their only path into March Madness would be by winning the PAC-12 tournament, which starts today in Las Vegas. For Stanford, they’ll face the Arizona State Sun Devils in the first round.
In the regular season, Arizona State swept the Cardinal, but both games were very close and decided by six points or less. For the Sun Devils, Shannon Evans II has become their best all-around player, and Marcus Allen will most likely have the task of guarding him. However, Allen and the Cardinal will not only need to limit Evans’ scoring but also his passing and rebounding. Still, Evans can’t compare to top guards like Lonzo Ball and Markelle Fultz, and Stanford will be able to slow him down.
Ultimately, the game will be decided by Reid Travis. If he plays well, Stanford will be very hard to beat, and the Cardinal will move onto the next round. Travis is Stanford’s best player, and without his dominating play, Stanford struggles.
The Sun Devils might struggle to find answers for Travis, and Travis should have no problem putting up big numbers. In the last two match ups versus Arizona State, Travis scored seventeen and twenty-one points. If Travis plays well, Stanford will win in a close battle, and if he does not, Stanford might leave Vegas early.
If Stanford wins in the opening round, they’ll have their hands full in the second against Oregon. Oregon is one of the best teams in the country, and although Stanford narrowly lost to the Ducks in their most recent matchup, Oregon is clearly the better team. For Stanford to make a long run in Vegas, they’ll need to be the next cinderella story.
Watch Stanford take on Arizona State today at 12 pm PT on PAC-12 Networks.