Stanford vs UCLA
When: 11:30 PM
ET, Friday, March 14, 2014
Where: MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada
As the lowest-seeded team remaining in the Pac-12 tournament, Stanford faces an uphill battle in Friday’s semifinal against No. 2 seed UCLA in Las Vegas. After watching the sixth-seeded Cardinal dismantle Arizona State 79-58 in the quarterfinals, however, it’s unlikely the Bruins are going to underestimate them. The teams split two meetings during the regular season, with Stanford losing 91-74 at UCLA on Jan. 23 before rolling to an 83-74 home win over the Bruins on Feb. 22.
UCLA bounced back from a surprising loss to Washington State in the regular-season finale with an impressive 82-63 victory over Oregon on Thursday, marking the Bruins’ biggest margin of victory in the postseason in six years. While UCLA’s performance wasn't unexpected, Stanford may have earned itself a spot in the NCAA tournament with its wire-to-wire win over Arizona State. The Cardinal shot 54.9 percent from the field and held Sun Devils star Jahii Carson to 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting.
TV: 11:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
ABOUT STANFORD (21-11): The Cardinal likely secured their first NCAA tournament berth in six years under coach Johnny Dawkins with Thursday’s win, but a victory over UCLA would help remove any suspense on Selection Sunday. Point guard Chasson Randle, who made seven 3-pointers and scored 26 points in last month’s win over the Bruins, had a team-high 21 points against the Sun Devils. Senior forward Dwight Powell has averaged 15.5 points on 12-of-18 shooting in the first two tournament games, and he was able to receive some much-needed rest in the second half of Thursday’s rout.
ABOUT UCLA (24-8): The Bruins held the explosive Ducks to 35.5 percent shooting in the second half Wednesday, and will need another strong defensive effort against the efficient Cardinal. UCLA had five players score in double figures Thursday, with guard Jordan Adams (15 points) leading the way. Forward Tony Parker and freshman guard Zach LaVine combined for 27 points off the bench against the Cardinal last month, and the Bruins’ reserves could be the difference against a Stanford team that relies heavily on its five starters.
1. UCLA has won 15 of its last 19 games against Stanford since the start of the 2005-06 season.
2. Stanford is 21-2 when leading with five minutes to play.
3. Bruins first-year coach Steve Alford is unbeaten in seven career postseason games as a head coach in Las Vegas.
PREDICTION: UCLA 76, Stanford 67
Stats and Records