The test won't be so easy as the Cardinal face an Oregon Ducks team that looks to be secure where the post-season is concerned and have played very well in inter-conference matchups.
Tip-off is set for tonight at 7:00 pm ET at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, California. According to 5 Dimes Sportsbook, the Cardinal are 6.5 point college basketball odds betting favorites thanks to home court advantage and the total for this game is listed at 144.
Stanford has been inconsistent all season long, but have won their last 2 games over Cal and Oregon State by double digits to keep their post-season hopes alive. With 3 real definitive go to guys on the offensive end, this surely gives Stanford an edge against most teams and dealing with the Chasson Randle and Anthony Brown will be a tall order for the Oregon defense.
A "Must Win" For Stanford at Home
That said, the Ducks might be catching Randle at the right time. Randle, who is in his senior year, is averaging 19.4 points per game and has shot over 90 % from the free throw line, but has not shot well from the field as of late. He has failed to reach 50% shooting in each of his last 5 games,shooting a collective 18 for 65 from the field while averaging 15 points per game.
Anthony Brown and Stefan Nastic have also been quite ineffective on the offensive end in their last couple of games, but the Cardinal defense has been able to gut it out and help this team prevail. The level of competition becomes greater tonight despite Stanford being a 6.5 point betting favorite and these players will need to be more efficient on the offensive end or they'll be faced with the prospect of receiving their 10th loss of the season. The pressure is totally on Stanford in this spot.
Getting Hot At the Right Time
This has been the key to Oregon's success as they have won 6 out of their last 7 games. Their only loss during this period of time was a 72-63 loss to UCLA on Valentine's Day. Oregon comes into this game with 3 consecutive double-digit wins and this game will be the biggest test for them during their winning spell. A win here would really secure the Ducks spot, especially in the Pac-12 Conference as the NCAA voting committee really takes inter-conference records seriously and Oregon has excelled in Pac-12 play at 11-5.
Young is certainly the go to guy on this Cardinal squad, averaging 19.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game. He's also shooting 90% from the free throw line and if this game is close like it should be, Joseph Young will be the guy with the ball in his hands.
Young has had 4 games of 18 points or more in his last 5 games and his only real poor effort was surprisingly in an upset of the Utah Utes. Despite the victory of Utah, make no mistake about it; the Cardinal need Joseph Young to play well tonight as Stanford's roster contains a lot of depth. Young really took matters into his own hands in his last game as he was 10 for 20 from the field against California and finished the game with 25 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. Look for a similar effort from Young in this game.
This is a good spot for Stanford and a very important game for them. I expect their offense to play much better than their two previous outings. However, expect Oregon to go toe to toe with them and 6.5 points is a lot to be giving. Take the Ducks as your NCAA basketball pick,
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Oregon +6.5 at 5Dimes