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Preview: Portland Pilots get a shot at No. 2 Stanford Cardinal on national TV

The No. 2 Stanford Cardinal will be heavily favored against the Portland Pilots, but it’s a great opportunity for Portland to show what it’s got on ESPN2.

NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament - Final Four - Previews
Stanford’s Kiki Iriafen (with ball) is averaging 13.7 points through three games.
Photo by Ben Solomon/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

No. 2 Stanford has picked up right where it left off last season. Unbeaten and cruising through its schedule. Portland is on the other side of the spectrum, a young team hoping to make it to the NCAA tournament. Despite these differences, they have one thing in common: they are both unbeaten and looking to win again on Sunday.

Stanford has been as dominant as ever this season. It has won its games by an average of 48 points, and if the Pilots aren’t careful, they’ll face a similar fate on Sunday. So far, Kiki Iriafen has been the surprise of the season. She appears to have taken a sophomore jump, doubling her points, rebounds and minutes played from her freshman season. It’s early, but if she can stay around this level, it certainly makes Stanford a better team and a clear favorite to upset South Carolina in March. Hannah Jump has also been great. She’s flirting with a double-double every game and is key to the team’s success.

Portland has been on a roll to start the season and a lot of that has to do with Alex Fowler. The junior forward is averaging 17 points, picking up where she left off last year. A surprise this season has been Maisie Burnham. She is leading the team in points scored and rebounds and they’ll need all that production if they want a chance to beat Stanford at home.

Game Information

No. 2 Stanford Cardinal (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12) vs. Portland Pilots (2-0, 0-0 WCC)

When: Sunday, Nov. 13 at 5 p.m. ET

Where: Chiles Center in Portland, Ore.

How to watch/listen: ESPN2

Key to the matchup: Portland has to come out with its best performance of the season if it wants to avoid a blowout. That means a defensive masterclass, making the right rotations, contesting every shot and grabbing defensive rebounds. Can someone besides Burnham help on the boards? With Cameron Brink playing, the Pilots will have to find a way to control the glass or else things could get ugly fast. Stanford is the heavy favorite and just needs its big three of Haley Jones, Cameron Brink, and Kiki Iriafen to perform at its ability and take care of buissness.