As of right now, the nation knows the Stanford Cardinal women’s basketball team for one reason: They’re the team that gave up the triple-double to Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu on the night she became the first player to ever record 2,000 points, 1,000 assists and 1,000 rebounds in their career against Stanford in February. But if that’s your only thought of the Cardinal this season, you’d certainly be surprised to see that they’re essentially a game away (that Oregon game) from a No. 1 seed in this year’s 2020 NCAA Tournament.
Still, the Cardinal are poised for a lengthy tournament run as almost a guaranteed No. 2 seed when the tournament gets underway later this month. The Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament is all that remains from securing a two seed in the national tournament as the Cardinal are set to receive a bye in their conference tournament and play the winner of the Washington State-Oregon State game this coming Friday, March 6.
Stanford finished the regular season with a record of 25-5 (14-4) but lost two of their final three games of the season including a heartbreaker in overtime to No. 13 Arizona on February 28. They’ve been led by their terrific guard duo of Kiana Williams and Lexie Hull this season as two are averaging 14.6 and 13.5 points per game, respectively. They’ve each started all 30 games this season and Hull leads the team with 6.0 rebounds a game while Williams leads the team with 116 assists.
The Cardinal are an incredibly deep team in 2019-20 as they have 10 different full-time players (players who have seen time in at least 60% of their games) who are averaging at least double-digit minutes. They’re an incredibly sharp defensive team and have the nation’s 30th highest offensive output per contest this year as well and they’re outscoring opponents by nearly 15.0 points per game in the process.
As of right now, Stanford is penciled into the No. 2 seed in the Greenville portion of the bracket, under No. 1 seed South Carolina. It’s a favorable draw outside of the one seed Gamecocks as right now they’d take on San Francisco in the opening round, a team they defeated in the second game of the season back in November.
There is still much to be learned in terms of the complete bracket but with their No. 2 seed essentially all but locked up, the Cardinal can focus in solely on the Pac-12 Tournament that tips off this Thursday on Pac-12 Network.
What are you predictions for Stanford’s 2020 NCAA Tournament appearance? How long will they last? Drop your predictions in the comments below!