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Strictly Come Dancing: Stanford, Pac-10


Who? The Cardinal of Stanford. Cardinal like the color, not the bird. Do not call them the Cardinals, plural; they are the Cardinal, singular. And for the love of all you believe in, don't call them the Lady Cardinal, because Tara VanDerveer will end you.

Where? Palo Alto, CA, which is named after a tree. Bet you can guess why the Stanford band travels with a student in a tree costume now...

When? Sunday the 14th in Los Angeles, CA.

How? Nnemkadi Ogwumike's 16/11 double-double led four players in double figures for the Cardinal as they poured it on to beat UCLA 70-46.

Upset? What do you think? Stanford ran the table in conference and finished three games up on UCLA.

RPI: 3

SOS: 10


Once again, I ought to defer this analysis to Q or Seth, who are both in Pac-10 country. I present to them a framework to build upon for March Madness.

Most schools would kill to have one post player as good as any of Stanford's. The fact that Stanford is sitting on three of them is mind-boggling. Sophomore forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike leads the team in scoring with 18.3 points on 63.5% shooting, and no, that is not a typo. Junior forward Kayla Pedersen, transitioning from the post to the three, only scored 16.1 points on 39.7% long-range shooting for second on the team. And then there's senior center Jayne Appel, who puts in 13.2 points per game. All three of them average more than nine rebounds per game, too. And small forward Pedersen and center Appel both have positive A/TO ratios, to boot. In case that wasn't enough, they have the co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Pac-10 in senior guard Rosalyn Gold-Onwude.

Odd statistical fact discovered through assiduous calculator usage: Stanford averages a bit over 28 field goals made and almost 18 assists per game as a team. To me, when that many of a team's field goals are assisted, that suggests a lot of good ball movement and unselfish play.

They beat Duke by 16 and Tennessee by 15 and beat the Pac-10 like a redheaded stepchild- only UCLA got within single digits of them in those 30 wins. I suppose if a team has one loss, by grammatical default it's their worst loss, but going to Connecticut and only losing by 12 shouldn't be counted against Stanford, not when no one's come closer this season.