NIT 2012: Stanford Cardinal Will Redeem Their Season with NIT Championship
All season, the Stanford Cardinal have struggled to stand out among a sea of mediocrity in the Pac-12, but with an NIT championship within their grasp, that could all change Thursday night.
The Cardinal dispatched UMass 74-64 on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden to advance to the NIT finals against Minnesota, where they will attempt to continue their end-of-the-season run of success.
Ever since losing to California on March 8 in the Pac-12 tournament, third-seeded Stanford has reeled off four wins in the NIT, winning only one of those by more than 10 points—an 84-56 thrashing of Nevada in the quarterfinals—but winning is winning, and after a mid-season slump filled with just a few too many L's, Stanford will take it.
It certainly isn't a bad sign heading into next season with a young team featuring four freshmen and seven sophomores.
One of those sophomores, Anthony Brown, took over the game in the second half on Tuesday and was a big reason why the Cardinal will be playing on Thursday instead of looking back on a season that was.
Brown tallied 13 of his season-high 18 points in the second half, shooting 7-of-12 while the rest of his team shot 17-of-53. When UMass showed some fight and, with eight minutes left, took its first lead since very early in the game, Brown hit a key three-pointer to silence the Minutemen, then had seven points in a decisive 11-3 run that firmly put the win out of UMass' reach.
Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins was impressed, telling the Associated Press, "He had great looks and he [had] confidence and he made them. He really stepped up tonight and did it for us."
It is players like Brown who will be the key to capturing a championship on Thursday night. Now, Stanford will face a sixth-seeded Minnesota team that beat top-seeded Washington 68-67 in overtime on Tuesday night. Having won nine of 12 since mid-February, the Cardinal look very little like the team that lost three straight conference games in January. They are confident and poised, and they have proved they have the role players who can step up in a big spot and propel them to victory.
Only 68 teams get the opportunity to play on the big stage of the NCAA tournament, but at least one more team—the one that wins the NIT—gets the opportunity to make the case that it should've been one of those 68.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?