NCAA Update: Stanford Upsets Kansas to Reach the ‘Sweet Sixteen’

Stanford prevailed over Kansas, 60-57. (David Weir/KQED)
Stanford prevailed over Kansas, 60-57. (David Weir/KQED)

Stanford upset Kansas, 60-57, to advance to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in a South Regional matchup Sunday.

The Cardinal (23-12) will now face upstart Dayton next Thursday in their first appearance this deep in the tournament since 2008. With an extremely tough, inside game, Stanford’s defense won the game, out-rebounding the Jayhawks, 33-30, and holding them to 33 percent shooting.

Stanford led most of the second half by a small margin. Kansas (25-10) almost clawed its way back into the lead in the final minutes with a stifling back court press.

The highly rated Kansas freshman, Andrew Wiggins, was held to only 4 points, far below his season average of 16.8 PPG.

Dwight Powell led Stanford with 15 points and 7 rebounds. Chasson Randle had 13 points, 6 steals and 4 assists for the Cardinal.

Before the game, statistician and writer Nate Silver gave Stanford only a 29 percent chance to win, compared with 71 percent for Kansas. After the victory, Silver’s site upgraded Stanford’s chances of reaching the championship game from less than 1 percent to 3 percent.

It may not sound like much, but in Silver’s world of numbers, that’s a serious upgrade. The statistician currently rates the upcoming Stanford-Dayton game a tossup.

As for the complete list of Sweet Sixteen matchups, Silver lists the following odds of victory by percentage likelihood of a victory:

South Florida ( 72) vs. UCLA (28) Stanford (50) vs. Dayton (50)

Midwest Michigan (53) vs. Tennessee (47) Louisville (68) vs. Kentucky (32)

East Michigan State (51) vs. Virginia (49) Connecticut (52) vs. Iowa State (48)

West Arizona (73) vs. San Diego State (27) Wisconsin (59) vs. Baylor (41)

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David Weir

David Weir is Senior Editor, Online News for KQED.  He previously worked at Rolling Stone, Salon, Wired Digital, Excite@Home, Mother Jones, among others, and as a co-founder and Executive Director of The Center for Investigative Reporting.

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