Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Stanford big man Dwight Powell made first-team All-Pac 12 last season.
Bracket schedule (via ESPN.com):
Nov. 25: Pittsburgh vs. Texas Tech (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2); Stanford vs. Houston (9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Nov. 26: Consolation game (7 p.m. ET, ESPN3); Championship game (9:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
Best first-round matchup: Stanford vs. Houston
This isn't exactly a ratings-buster deluxe for ESPN. Notice that the championship game is on ESPNU.
The Stanford-Houston matchup at least has the potential to be competitive.
Houston leading scorer Joseph Young transferred to Oregon, but there's still some talent in the program with TaShawn Thomas, Danuel House and Jherrod Stiggers.
Stanford won the postseason NIT two years ago and that core is still around.
Come to think of it, ESPN can sell this one easy...
It’s the Cougars with some decent talent and the 2012 NIT champs on ESPN2!! Tune in for the chance to watch a game that might not be a total snoozer!
Best potential matchup: Stanford vs. Pittsburgh
Stanford underachieved last year. Pittsburgh graduated leading scorer Tray Woodall and Steven Adams left school early.
It usually doesn't matter what roster Jamie Dixon has; he usually (sans 2011-12) gets results.
This season will be a challenge with the loss of Adams. Both teams could benefit from something positive happening early on, and winning this tourney would be something each program could feel decent about.
Prediction: Stanford over Pittsburgh