Don’t rule out an upset

Stanford quite a challenge for KSU

By The Mercury

The Kansas State University women’s basketball team won’t be favored to beat Stanford when the two teams play late this afternoon in Bramlage Coliseum with a berth in the Sweet 16 on the line.

After all, Stanford is 29-5 and ranked sixth in both the AP and USA Today Coaches polls; K-State, 23-10, is 24th in the AP poll and unranked by the coaches. What’s more, Stanford is the No. 2 seed, while KSU is the No. 7 seed.

Thus, the smart money will be on Stanford, perhaps wisely so. But the smart money in the men’s NCAA tournament was on second-seeded Duke, which lost to a No. 7 seed, South Carolina; it was on Louisville, a No. 2 seed that lost to seventh- seeded Michigan, and it was on Villanova, the top-seeded team in the entire men’s tournament, which lost to Wisconsin, a No. 8 seed.

In other words, it happens. And despite Stanford’s glossy record and an even glossier tradition that includes a dozen Final Fours and two national titles — a K-State victory is possible. The Wildcats haven’t been as consistent as Stanford, but at times they’ve been terrific. To a player, they sound up for the challenge, and they know they can count on a raucous crowd.

Stanford’s coach is right to observe that the home crowd can’t score. It can, however, inspire players on the home team to run a little faster, react a little more quickly, jump a little higher and, who knows, pull off a big upset.

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