9. Stanford Cardinal (15-14, 8-9 Pac-12) LW: 11
With a 48-point drubbing of Washington State, Stanford’s week in the Pac-12 couldn’t get a whole lot better. Looking back now, one more basket on Sunday afternoon could’ve been a cherry on top.
The Cardinal put up 98 points to rout the Cougars, quite possibly the nail in the coffin for WSU coach Ernie Kent after his team only managed 15 points in the first half. For Stanford, sophomore forward KZ Okpala had a game-high 22 points, one of five Cardinal to score in double figures in the victory.
However, a win over Washington would have been the best of the season for coach Jerod Haase. The Huskies, regarded by many as the favorite to win the Pac-12 Tournament (they’ve already won the regular season title), never led by more than six points in Maples Pavilion before winning 62-61.
What makes this more impressive is sophomore guard Daejon Davis’ absence from the game on top of Okpala shooting 2-of-7 from the floor.
Needing a spark, guard Cormac Ryan as well as big men Oscar Da Silva and Josh Sharma stepped up. The trio combined for 44 of Stanford’s 61 points as all three found cracks in UW’s vaunted 2-3 zone throughout the afternoon.
Trailing by one in the final minute, Okpala had the ball on the game’s final possession, but his 3-point attempt was unsuccessful.
Stanford hosts Cal in its regular season finale before the conference tournament. The Cardinal could move around quite a bit in the standings in terms of upward movement based on the last few games. Worst-case scenario, they arrive in Sin City as the No. 10 seed.