Stanford earned Cornell, earned the commuter flight to Anaheim, earned the elite seeding and earned this whole smooth ride to the Sweet 16, assuming it can handle the smoothness.

That is the question, isn't it? Can the Cardinal act cool, avoid speed traps, power past the pretenders and prove it belongs in the upper levels of bracketry?

"Yeah," Brook Lopez said, quite calmly, when I asked that very question Sunday. "Of course."

You see, the NCAA tournament selection committee basically laid it out for the Cardinal: Stanford should stomp Cornell on Thursday and then beat Marquette on Saturday to get to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2001.

Could. Should. Must...

Some insights into March Madness

FoxSports.com
March 17, 2008

The following squads are eager and skilled at shooting the 3-pointer.

  • Davidson: Stephen Curry ... enough typed.
  • Vanderbilt: Stallings' Commodores knocked in 40.8 percent of their 3s.
  • Notre Dame: The defensive alignment may not matter, because the Irish (who also hit 40.8 percent) and Kyle McAlarney will push for transition 3s before a zone can set.
  • Cornell: The Big Red shot 42.4 percent from distance (third in the nation) and first-round foe Stanford has been known to construct a zone around 7-foot twins Robin and Brook Lopez.

  • Katz

    By Andy Katz
    ESPN.com
    March 17, 2008

    WHO'S HOT

    ...

    No. 14 Cornell: The Big Red didn't lose a game in the Ivy League. Granted, the NCAAs aren't filled with Dartmouths and Harvards, but this team hasn't lost in quite some time...

    HIGHEST SAT/ACT SCORES
    • It has to be Stanford versus Cornell. Maybe after the game the players should quiz each other.