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The Matchup: Stanford

Stanford beat OSU to advance in the Pac-10 tournament and play the Huskies.

Though they were the lower seed, Stanford is the more dangerous matchup for UW; Stanford is better than OSU in just about every phase of the game. In fact Stanford is a much better team than their 6-12 Pac-10 record indicated. Just for a comparison, here are their overall/ofensive/defensive ratings with national ranks in parentheses.

Stanford: .8556 (48th) / 113.4 (26th) / 97.2 (87th)

OSU: .6194 (122nd) / 103.8 (132nd) / 99.5 (134th)

So our road to the tournament title got a little tougher.

How does UW match up against Stanford? Pretty well. Their guards are taller than ours, but so are everybody's. Mitch Johnson is 6-1 and Anthony Goods is 6-3, so the height advantage is not big enough to think that it's going to be a problem. The rest of their team is a lot like the Huskies', with their contributing players in the 6-6 to 6-8 range. Only Will Paul is taller than that at 6-10, but he is very soft and a downright terrible rebounder for someone his or any size.

One advantage that the Huskies will have (much like they've had over nearly every opponent) is superior depth. Stanford relies heavily on Johnson, Goods, Lawrence Hill and Landry Fields. It's a good quartet, but I believe that the reason Stanford has not won more games is that they do not have a lot of role players who can come in and make the difference. We know that that is not the case for the Huskies, who throw out guys like Venoy Overton, Darnell Gant, Justin Holiday and Matthew Bryan-Amaning to defend, rebound and score when given opportunities.

Stanford is a talented team that played us tough twice this season. We cannot get caught looking past them or thinking about the other tournament or they will make us pay. For the Huskies to beat Stanford they have to continue to do what they've done all year: get after it on the offensive glass and get to the free throw line. Stanford is a quality team, but they are not on the level of the University of Washington. So long as the Dawgs come out focused the result should be favorable.

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