The #3 Stanford Cardinal will head on the road to take on the #2 Oklahoma State Cowboys in the second round of the NIT Tournament Monday night from the Gallagher-Iba Arena. Stanford edged BYU 86-83 in their first-round win, and Oklahoma State notched an 80-68 win against FGCU in their first-round action. This marks the first meeting between these teams since 2011 in a game Stanford won 82-67.
Travis Leads Stanford Past Pesky BYU
The Stanford Cardinal outlasted #6 BYU for an 86-83 home win in the first round of the NIT on Thursday night. The Cardinal only shot 44%, however, they limited BYU to a 44% clip and also out-rebounded them 47-37. Cardinal’ top scorer Reid Travis was spectacular in the winning effort, collecting 25 points along with 14 rebounds. The junior forward continues to put up solid numbers, shooting at least 53% in four straight games, and he is up to 19.6 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Dorian Pickens also had a strong night in the first round win, netting 17 points along with six boards. The senior guard is dangerous from deep, sporting a 41% clip from beyond the arc, and he stands second in team scoring with 14.7 points on the season.
The Cardinal have now won three out of their last four games overall with the lone loss in that span coming in the PAC 12 Tourney to UCLA, and when Reid Travis is on his game they can be tough to beat. They are placed at 87th in the nation in Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball rankings. Stanford has been very productive offensively, and they are currently averaging 76.2 points, ranking them 101st overall. They will give up points, allowing an average of 75 points, placing them 245th overall.
OK State Overcomes Poor Shooting in 1st RD NIT Win
The Oklahoma State Cowboys were not at their best offensively but used strong rebounding and defense to defeat #7 FGCU 80-68 in their first round NIT action. The Cowboys only converted on 35% of their field goals, while holding FGCU to a 38% shooting performance. Cowboys’ top scorer Jeffrey Carroll only went 3 for 11 from the field, however he did big damage at the free-throw line and finished with 18 points. The senior guard has now scored a combined 35 points in his last two games, increasing his season average to 15.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Kendall Smith had a rough night in the first round win, sinking only 1 of 11 shots for a total of seven points. The senior guard is a solid three-point threat, however he is on a 3 for 15 stretch from beyond the arc in his last three games, and he places second in team scoring with 12.7 points per game.
The Cowboys have now won four out of their last five games with the lone loss in that span coming in the conference tourney to Kansas. They did defeat three ranked teams this season including Texas Tech, Kansas, and West Virginia. Oklahoma State is ranked at 55th in the nation in Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball rankings. They are averaging 76.5 points, ranking them 90th in the country. They are allowing an average of 72.9 points, positioning them 188th overall.
The Stanford Cardinal are:
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games following a straight up win.
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against a team with a winning record.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys are:
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games against the PAC-12.
- 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games following a straight up win.
I am taking the points with Stanford in this matchup. Stanford finished strong in the PAC 12, winning six out of their last eight games. They are averaging a solid 80.1 points in their last eight games, and they are up against a mediocre defensive Cowboys team. Stanford is potent from beyond the arc, and the Cowboys’ three-point defense ranks down at 296th in the country. Furthermore, Oklahoma State is only shooting 43.5% on the season, so I am not concerned with Stanford’s defense. The Cardinal also have the rebounding edge and I think they will keep this one very close.