The Stanford men's basketball team had visions of the NCAA tournament dancing in their collective heads as the Pac-12 Conference got under way this weekend.
The Cardinal may have to rethink its position after losing its second straight Saturday.
Dwight Powell produced 17 points and 13 points but Stanford dropped a 68-60 decision to host UCLA, leaving the Cardinal (0-2, 9-6) in a hole so early in the conference season.
Stanford hopes to regroup, reorganize and regain a foothold in the Pac-12 race when Washington State visits Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tipoff. That opens a three-game homestand that could either prove fatal or provide just the stimulus package needed to produce a solid conference record.
Traveling to the Los Angeles schools has always been tough on the Cardinal but this trip might turn out to be particularly galling. Stanford had a golden opportunity to win both games.
Against the Trojans, Stanford let a lead slip away. Against the Bruins, the Cardinal grabbed the momentum late but could not finish. In both cases, lousy shooting and silly turnovers caused the downfall.
Stanford lost its eighth straight at UCLA and have dropped 11 of its last 12 games played in this Soutern California oasis.
Chasson Randle added 17 points for Stanford, 15 in the second half. The Cardinal lost at USC, 71-69, two days earlier, and fell to 9-29 on the road in conference play dating to the 2008-09 season. They have dropped 15 of their last 16 on the Los Angeles road trip.
Stanford recovered from a 15-point deficit and drew within five points with 47 seconds remaining as Randle hit a layup and 3-pointer.
The Bruins came in averaging a Pac-12-leading 80.8 points and they'd averaged 90.2 in their previous five games. They were 21 of 51 from the floor and had 14 turnovers, as did the Cardinal.