LAS VEGAS -- Stanford's 74-63 victory over 11th-seeded Washington State in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament won't enhance the Cardinal's postseason bid.

But a loss to a team with a No. 212 computer rating could have torpedoed the team's hopes for its first NCAA tournament spot in six seasons.

So the Cardinal (20-11) got what it needed Wednesday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena by avoiding what could have been catastrophic.

It wasn't easy. The Cougars outworked Stanford for large portions of the game and led 50-47 after a basket and free throw by Royce Woolridge with 9:26 remaining.

Stanford finally gained control with a 10-0 run, featuring 3-pointers by Dwight Powell and Anthony Brown, giving the Cardinal a 57-50 lead entering the game's final seven minutes.

"Big win for us," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "I was really proud of my guys for making the plays that needed to be made."

With its second straight victory and a No. 43 RPI rank, Stanford heads into Thursday night's quarterfinal against Arizona State fairly well-positioned to get good news from the NCAA selection committee on Sunday.

Stanford and Arizona State split two regular-season games.

"I haven't been to the tournament. That's always been a dream of mine," Powell said. "I think everybody feels the pressure."

The stakes are high for Stanford and Dawkins, who was given a mandate after last season by athletic director Bernard Muir to get the program into the NCAAs after five straight misses.


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Guard Chasson Randle said he wasn't thinking about the NCAAs. "We're in the moment," he said. "We're looking forward to (Thursday) night."

Randle scored 22 points and Powell had 16 for Stanford.

Stanford shot 21 for 24 from the foul line and converted 58.5 percent from the field.

DaVonte Lacy led the Cougars with 25 points, and D.J. Shelton contributed 15 points and nine rebounds.

Stanford, which beat WSU by an average of more than 22 points in two regular-season meetings, led 35-28 at halftime. But the Cardinal couldn't pull away from the Cougars.

  • Askia Booker scored 21 points, leading Colorado (22-10) to a 59-56 victory over USC (11-21). The Buffaloes, who play fourth-seeded Cal on Thursday afternoon, had trouble shaking the Trojans until going on a 13-1 run late in the game. ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi listed the Bears (19-12) as the "first team out" of his projected NCAA field on Wednesday.

  • Joseph Young scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half, and Oregon (23-8) pulled away for an 88-74 win over Oregon State (16-15). The defending tournament champion Ducks hit 16 of 20 shots in the second half en route to their eighth straight win.

  • Delon Wright scored 15 points, helping Utah (21-10) hold off Washington (17-15) 67-61.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.