Can Stanford Take Down The Huskies In LA?

The Bootleg's Daniel Novinson prepares the faithful with this look at Stanford's Pac-10 Quarterfinal matchup versus the Washington Huskies at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Check out the stats and facts, along with Daniel's pre-game prediction, before this matchup as Stanford looks to pull out the upset against a team it has played relatively well against thus far in 2009.

Stanford vs. Washington (Thursday, 2:30 p.m., FSN)

The Basics
One down, three to go. Stanford downed Oregon State 62-54 Wednesday night to keep their NCAA hopes alive, advancing out of the Pac-10 Tournament's 8/9 play-in game and into the quarterfinals. The Beavers led by seven at halftime, but Anthony Goods finished with 23 points, and the Card matched OSU on turnovers (14 apiece) and won the rebounding battle by five.

With a win against Washington, Stanford would play the Arizona/Arizona State winner Friday at 6 p.m. The Cardinal split against both schools, and all four games were decided by double figures. The Card have won three of their last four, came mighty close to winning at Washington, and have demonstrated that just about anything can happen against an Arizona school, so who knows, the wackiness might just continue.

Part I
Washington 84, Stanford 83

The Huskies absolutely obliterated the Card inside, grabbing 20 offensive rebounds to Stanford's 18 defensive rebounds. The Huskies won overall on the boards 41 to 25, and Jon Brockman grabbed 18 total rebounds, 12 of them offensive. His last offensive board – and putback with 4.6 seconds left – proved the difference. Landry Fields failed to get off a last-second shot as the Card suffered the first of two straight one-point losses in the state of Washington.

Brockman and fellow forwards Quincy Pondexter and Matt Bryant-Amaning combined for 50 Husky points, with guard Isaiah Thomas adding 17. All of Stanford's starters, save for Josh Owens, reached double figures in the loss.

Part II
Washington 75, Stanford 68

Pondexter, Brockman, and Thomas again led the way with 50 combined points for Washington, and Brockman's 12 rebounds helped the Huskies to a +6 rebounding edge at Maples. Guard Venoy Overton had 11 points, five assists, and five steals spelling Justin Dentmon from the bench.

The Card squandered a terrific effort from Landry Fields, who scored 22 on 10-of-15 shooting and added 10 rebounds. Stanford was simply too small, however the Cardinal played seven guards and three forwards in the contest, and each of the forwards (Lawrence Hill, Will Paul and Owens) managed only four points apiece. Anthony Goods added 12 and Jeremy Green tallied 11. Washington shot 28 free throws to Stanford's 17, similar to their 33 to 20 free-throw attempt advantage in Seattle.

Scouting Washington
The Huskies look to be a team peaking at the right time, having won four straight and seven of their last eight. They were swept by Cal, split against UCLA and Arizona, and swept every other Pac-10 squad. Out of conference, a 2-3 start with losses at Portland, Kansas, and Florida preceded a one-point win over Portland State and suggested that the Huskies would, again, underachieve come Pac-10 play. But a 14-4 conference mark (24-7 overall) and Pac-10 regular season crown later, and the Huskies are suddenly in position to think about a top-three seed in the NCAA Tournament with three straight wins in L.A.

As far as a gameplan, this one isn't rocket science: Washington will try to take Stanford down low again and again. The Card will need to find a way to stop Brockman (15 points, 11 rebounds per game) and Pondexter (12 points, six boards) from scoring and rebounding at-will without excessively fouling or selling out on Thomas (15 points, three rebounds). The bad news for Stanford is that those three keys…

1. Stop Brockman and Pondexter from giving UW a big points in the paint and rebounding edge
2. Keep fouls in control
3. Don't sell out on Thomas

…have not been successfully accomplished in either of the team's first two meetings. The good news is that Stanford's second tussle with Washington was played much more at the Cardinal's pace, and the Card did do a better job with the above keys (losing -6 instead of -12 on the boards, for example) in that contest. Stanford's inside play appears to have picked up in recent games, and this afternoon will show whether that improvement is a mirage or genuine…

… I'm ever the optimist, but I'm also not an oracle. Stanford hasn't stopped this team from inside 10 feet in two tries, and while I'm hopeful that the third time will be a charm, I'm not cocky enough to predict that on blind faith alone. CBI, here we come.

Vegas: Washington 78, Stanford 72
The Bootleg: Washington 82, Stanford 73

Pac-10 Predictions:
Predicted: Stanford 65, Arizona State 60 Actual: Arizona State 90, Stanford 60
Predicted: Arizona 69, Stanford 67 Actual: Stanford 76, Arizona 60
Predicted: Washington 78, Stanford 65 Actual: Washington 84, Stanford 83
Predicted: Stanford 57, Wash. State 53 Actual: Wash. State 55, Stanford 54
Predicted: Stanford 76, Cal 72 Actual: Stanford 75, Cal 69
Predicted: Stanford 75, Oregon 65 Actual: Stanford 77, Oregon 55
Predicted: Stanford 75, Oregon State 58 Actual: Oregon State 77, Stanford 62
Predicted: USC 75, Stanford 68 Actual: USC 70, Stanford 69
Predicted: UCLA 78, Stanford 62 Actual: UCLA 97, Stanford 63
Predicted: Stanford 62, WSU 56 Actual: Stanford 65, WSU 54
Predicted: Washington 89, Stanford 76 Actual: Washington 75, Stanford 68
Predicted: Stanford 82, Bakersfield 64 Actual: Stanford 85, Bakersfield 50
Predicted: Cal 85, Stanford 74 Actual: Cal 82, Stanford 75
Predicted: Stanford 74, Oregon State 63 Actual: Oregon State 66, Stanford 54
Predicted: Stanford 80, Oregon 65 Actual: Oregon 68, Stanford 60
Predicted: UCLA 82, Stanford 64 Actual: UCLA 76, Stanford 71
Predicted: USC 79, Stanford 74 Actual: Stanford 75, USC 63
Predicted: Arizona State 72, Stanford 56 Actual: Stanford 74, Arizona State 64
Predicted: Arizona 75, Stanford 68 Actual: Arizona 101, Stanford 87
Predicted: Washington 82, Stanford 73

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