SPOKANE, Washington (Ticker) -- Fifth-seeded Connecticut tries to take advantage of its speed on Saturday in the second round of the South Region when it squares off with No. 4 Stanford at the Spokane Arena.
Connecticut (22-9) has utilized its speedy backcourt of Taliek Brown and Ben Gordon along with 6-9 center Emeka Okafor to ignite one of the game's most effective fastbreaks. The Huskies have won seven of their last 10 games and appear to be peaking.
Okafor had a huge game with 20 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks as Connecticut held on for a 58-53 victory over Brigham Young on Thursday in the first round. Brown made a pair of free throws and Gordon dropped in a runner to extend a two-point lead to six points.
Gordon finished with 14 points to offset a rough night from the floor by Brown, who missed all seven shots.
Connecticut is 3-0 all-time against Stanford, although the teams have not met since the Cardinal posted a 70-59 victory on February 6, 1999. That season the Huskies went on to capture the national championship.
Stanford (24-8) advanced with a 77-69 victory over San Diego, closing with a 14-3 run. Josh Childress collected 22 points and 11 rebounds and Julius Barnes added 18 points for the Cardinal, who blew a 19-point lead before rallying.
Rob Little had 12 points and seven rebounds and also provided Stanford with some physical play, limiting 6-11 Toreros center Jason Keep to 12 points and nine rebounds. Little will now have the assignment of trying to contain Okafor.
The Cardinal are 3-2 on neutral floors this season including a pair of big victories in the regular season. They defeated Florida in New York and Gonzaga in Oakland, California.
Stanford is seeking its fourth trip to the regionals since 1997.
The winner advances to Friday's matchup in San Antonio against either Texas or Purdue.