Time to Dance: Stanford, Pac-10

Who? The Cardinal of Stanford. Cardinal is singular, like the adjective, not plural like the folks at Louisville, Ball State, and other schools.

What? Cardinal as in the color red that can be seen on birds, Catholic Church officials, and football players in Arizona. Pluralizing it makes Stanford alumni sad, and do you want to make the Superheroes with Ineffective Powers sad? The color red has very little to do with trees, which is probably why the Stanford Tree is not technically a mascot, but a member of the band (I don't know about this year's iteration, but the Tree in 2009 had a band hat perched on top of its foliage).

Where? Palo Alto, California.

When? March 12th, in Los Angeles, California.

Why? Because they won the Pacific-10 conference tournament.

How? Toni Kokenis had 17 points off the bench, 10 in the last 5:17, to help Stanford overcome a nine-point halftime deficit and defeat UCLA, 64-55.

Surprise? Stanford winning the Pac-10 will never be a surprise. Ever. If it is, then Tara VanDerveer will not be happy with anyone involved. The Card were undefeated in conference.

Who's driving this thing, anyway? Tara VanDerveer, since 1985. A highly-decorated and very successful coach- but a lousy high school mascot.

RPI: 6

SOS: 8

Record: 29-2 (18-0)

Best win: Connecticut (H)

Worst loss: DePaul (A)

Notable results: Xavier (W, H, 89-52), UCLA (W, A, 67-53)


It says something about the Pac-10 and about Stanford that senior guard Jeanette Pohlen won Pac-10 Player of the Year with solid, but mostly not eye-popping stats (except for the 41.9% three-point percentage on nearly 200 shots, so it's not like it's too much of an anomaly). She makes things happen. The players who make the most interesting things happen, though, are the Ogwumike sisters, junior forward Nnemkadi and freshman forward Chiney. Together, the sisters average 28 points and 15.6 rebounds per game, shooting 58% from the field. They grow 'em tall on the Farm, too, with four regular starters at six-foot or taller. And it's rare that you'll catch Stanford making stupid mistakes, either.

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