sweet-16 preview: Stanford
By Mike Gilpatrick
March 21st, 2018
March 21st, 2018
The road to the Final Four will get a little rockier Friday. No.-1 seed Louisville will face No. 4-seed Stanford at 9:30 pm in Lexington.
Stanford is a much better team than Marquette or Boise State. The Cardinal is ranked 15th overall and has beaten ranked-teams, including No. 6 Oregon. They finished 24-10 overall and were second in the Pac-12.
The Cardinal is a high-rebounding, defensive team. They allow just under 62 points per game. They average 41.3 boards per game. Most rebounds belong to Senior Forward Kaylee Johnson. The Casper, Wyoming native grabs 7.6 per game. Behind her is Junior Forward Alanna Smith; with 7.1.
The tree lacks a little on offense. Only three players score in the double-digits. Senior guard Brittany McPhee leads the attack with 17 points per game. Smith is second, with 13.7. Kiana Williams averages 10.5. Overall, Stanford only scores 69 per game. They only hit 42.4 percent, and just 31.9 beyond the arc.
Stanford does have a slight height advantage. Both forwards a marginally taller. Their top scorer, which will likely line up against Asia Durr, is two inches taller than her.
How this game will go
Expect Stanford to have a strong inside game and try to force turnovers. They will be strong on the glass, competing for most rebounds. Stanford will limit Louisville’s shooting ability and block a few shots. Because of this, the Cardinal, especially Johnson, will foul Louisville on a considerable amount of possessions.
Louisville’s high free-throw shooting percentage, and Stanford’s slight offensive inefficiency will be their Achille’s heel. They’ll struggle to compete with Louisville’s high-tempo offense. While Louisville will turn the ball over some, The Cards will shoot close to, or above 50 percent.
Due to Stanford’s height, Louisville will rely on their stronger outside game. Asia Durr and Arica Carter both shoot 40 percent or higher from beyond the arc. The entire Louisville squad shoots about 60 points higher than Stanford.
While Stanford is a good team, they aren’t as good as Louisville. The Cardinals will catch fire in one quarter, and maintain for the other three. This will be a closer game, but Louisville will advance to the Elite-8.
Final score: Louisville 74, Stanford 68