Feb. 10, 2004
By Brian Litvack
Team Of The Week
Def. Arizona State 81-51
Def. Arizona 80-77
Stanford remained undefeated by trouncing the Sun Devils, and then edging out No. 12 Arizona on reserve Nick Robinson's 30-foot chuck at the buzzer. The Cardinal has been just about perfect this season, overcoming every challenge with ease. Both wins last week came with starting power forward Justin Davis, and his competent backup Matt Haryasz, sidelined by injury.
Coach Mike Montgomery, not one to get carried away, had a hard time holding back after the win over Arizona, saying, "I'm starting to think this group might be something special... (I'm) so proud of these kids."
Stanford only has to win its remaining seven games to have an undefeated regular season. None of the teams they face are in the top-25, but five are on the road, including a trip to Berkeley to face their bitter rivals on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Stanford sixth man student section is starting to look like the crowd at the old Forum, with a celebrity row that included Tiger Woods and his supermodel fiance, ex-quarterback Jim Pluckett and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.
Player of the Week
Odell Bradley, IUPUI
"Odell Who?," you ask? Bradley, a 6'4" senior forward, averaged 27.5 points by shooting 20-of-33, and 8.5 rebounds in wins over Oral Roberts and Southern Utah last week. On Wednesday, Bradley torched Oral Roberts for 41 points in triple overtime. This matched the 41 he scored two weeks earlier in a double OT win over Oral Roberts. The only thing hotter than Bradley is the team bus, which caught fire on the way to the game against Southern Utah, delaying the start by an hour.
You might remember IUPUI and their coach Ron Hunter, who decided to shake it like a Polaroid picture after the Jaguars won the Mid-Continent conference tournament at the buzzer last season. The Jaguars (15-8, 8-3) have a good chance to return to the Big Dance, and currently sit atop the MCC.
Line of the Month
Ben Wardrop, a senior walk-on at San Diego State, is offensive. Offensive, in that all he does is foul. Wardrop is coach Steve Fisher's designated hacker. In January, Wadrop got into three games, played a minute each and committed nine fouls without ever taking a shot.
Phrases of the Week
A Lubbock Salad Bar
What actually happened at this Texas Tech lunch hotspot is up to your own personal interpretation. Texas Tech chancellor David Smith claims that he was only attempting to compliment Bob Knight when the coach went all Incredible Hulk on him by "charging up behind me furious with fists clenched."
Breaking curfew to go to strip club in McKees Rocks, Pa.
St. John's players Elijah Ingram and pals thought it would be a grand idea to celebrate his 20th birthday and the teams' eight straight conference loss by hitting up a suburban Pittsburgh strip club. Well, one thing led to another and now Elijah and the boys have all the free time they need to frequent these classy establishments. Gentleman, might I suggest Scores in Midtown Manhattan.
Get Yourself A Satellite Dish
Dayton at No. 3 Saint Joseph's, Wednesday
Everything you need to know about St. Joe's can be explained with three words: Jameer and Delonte. The Hawks are seven games away from a perfect season and Dayton is the biggest obstacle remaining. The Flyers are unbeaten in the A-10 (19-3, 9-0) and also have wins at Pepperdine and San Diego State, and at home vs. Hawaii. Although Dayton hovers below the national radar, they are a legit veteran team with tournament experience. They match up will with the Hawks because they have a competent point guard in Ramond Marshall and can exploit the Hawks inside with talented big men C Sean Finn and PF Keith Waleskowski
No. 2 Stanford at California, Saturday
Stanford is by far more experienced, talented and mature than the Golden Bears. But you can throw that all that into the Pacific Ocean because Haas Pavilion will be going bonkers as Cal tries to ruin the perfect season of their bitter rivals. Cal has been a bit of a disappointment this season, but a win here can turn around their season. Stanford can't, and my guess is that they won't, allow themselves to be hung over from their stunning win over Arizona.
No. 5 Connecticut at No. 4 Pittsburgh, Sunday
The top two teams in the Big East both lost road games on Monday as UConn fell to Notre Dame and Pittsburgh was defeated by Seton Hall. The wins are only minor setbacks, although it does make this game even more important. These teams might run into each other again in the Big East tournament and might also be fighting for a No. 1 seed in the Big Dance. The winner of this game will be looking toward a Final Four run while the loser will have to regroup from dropping two straight.
Boston University at Vermont, Sunday
Vermont (15-5, 11-0) holds a one game lead over BU (17-3, 11-1) thanks to defeating the Terriers in Boston earlier this season. If Vermont, led by scoring machine Taylor Coppenrath, can upend the Terriers once again, they should be able to trot down the yellow brick road to a league title. Although these teams could compete in the tournament, they both have RPI's in the triple digits and that means only one of these teams is going dancing. There is a good chance that they will play a third time in the American East Tournament come early March.
Tiger Woods, lower right corner, looks on as Stanford's Nick Robinson makes the game-winning 3-pointer against Arizona.