Stanford’s women’s basketball team was upset by No. 8 Ole Miss in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, marking the fifth time since 1994 that a No. 1 seed has been seeded. Knocked out before the Sweet 16. Stanford never led in their 54-49 loss.
It was the first time Stanford failed to make the Sweet 16 since 2007, and head coach Tara VanDerVeer tried to be objective — maybe a little too objective — about the season when she spoke to the media following the loss. After being asked if they needed adversity to perform well (Stanford last won a championship and was forced to relocate home games in 2021 due to Covid-19 health mandates), Van der Veer used Stanford’s men’s team. A measure of women’s team relative success.
So Stanford’s men’s team certainly didn’t have as good a season as their counterparts. They finished with a 14-19 record and lost to Arizona in the second round of the Pac-12 Tournament earlier this month.
Vanderveer may seem like she’s dinging the men’s team for being bad, but she’s definitely not. It’s no secret that the men’s team had a poor season. Nothing is hidden about their 14-19 record. With that tough season and their second-round loss in the Pac-12 Tournament, you can imagine they would have been happy to dance for a few games.
Despite the poor result, VanDerveer reiterated that losing the second round of March Madness doesn’t mean the entire season is a failure. Objectively, they performed incredibly well, even if they didn’t live up to their own standards.
As they say in sports, there’s always next year.