Dwight Powell, in trouble early with foul trouble,scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds as No. 10 seed Stanford upset No. 2 Kansas 60-57 in the South Regional on Sunday.
Chasson Randle added 13 points, six steals and four assists for the Cardinal (23-12), who advanced to the round of 16 for the first time since 2008. Kansas, the second seeded team in the East and favored by six points, could never solve Stanford’s zone defense.
“We didn’t attack it well,” said Kansas Coach Bill Self about Stanford’s defense. “I thought they really gapped it and we didn’t do a good job of getting our nose dirty and getting in there until late. And then we got in their late, we actually got fouled or came away with at least potential scoring opportunities.
Self says Kansas didn’t attack the zone defense. “We were passive against it,” he said. “That’s what happens when you’re not real confident sometimes or individuals are not confident, not having a great game. Things are open but you are a little hesitant to throw it. I thought they did a good job spacing us. And you throw it inside, you have to score over 6’10”, 6’11”. So they did a nice job with their zone. It wasn’t anything that caught us off guard, we just didn’t make shots and certainly didn’t attack as well as we should.”
Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins says this was the hardest Stanford has played all season. “The effort, especially on the defensive end, is probably as good as I have seen it all season long. I was really proud of the way our guys stepped up when they made runs and was able to sustain some momentum at the end.
Now, we beat a very good Kansas team and just really proud of our guys.”
Dawkins says experience played a big role in the game. “Older players, guys who have been in these moments before, guys who know what to expect. I mean they have a lot of younger players, as you mentioned, and they are all very talented. And they’ve had a great year. And they were Big 12 champions. So they’re not a team that is not battled?tested, to have gone through the rigors of a great conference and coming out champions. And we expected to face a very good team who gained experience throughout the season. But I like our guys’ experience as well and I thought that was good for us.”
Stanford will take on Dayton in the Sweet 16 on Thursday in Memphis. The Cardinal is an early 2.5 favorite in the game.