Who? The Cardinal of Stanford.
What? It’s a color. It’s not a bird, a religious figure, or even a kind of direction. And the Tree is not a mascot, but a member of The One, The Only, The Incomparable Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band.
Where? Palo Alto, California, which was founded as a temperance town. I will leave it to our readers to enjoy the irony of a college town starting that way.
When? March 10th, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Why? They won the Pac-12 Conference tournament.
How? Cal never gave up, but Stanford had too many Ogwumikes to overcome, and the Cardinal came away with a 77-62 win. Nneka Ogwumike had 29 points, while Chiney Ogwumike had 17; each of them had 12 rebounds as well.
Surprise? We once again speak of things that are not surprises. Stanford was the favorite and went undefeated through the conference season.
RPI (as of 3/10): 2
SOS (as of 3/10): 12
Record: 31-1 (18-0 Pac-12)
Good wins: Gonzaga, Tennessee.
Bad losses: I guess UConn by default? I wouldn’t call losing at UConn a bad loss, but when you only have one…
Who’s running this show? Tara VanDerveer, since 1985. When you have time after the tournament, read Shooting From The Outside.
Extra, Extra! The San Francisco Chronicle.
Sister acts don’t come any more impressive in the NCAA than the Ogwumikes of Stanford. Both average double-doubles- 21.8 points and 10.5 rebounds for senior Nneka, 15.8 points and 10.3 rebounds for sophomore Chiney. Sophomore guard Toni Kokenis runs the offense, averaging 3.7 assists, and is not only capable of stepping up as an additional scoring option, but also of grabbing an instrument if necessary.