Stanford let a golden opportunity to secure a spot in the upper echelon of the Pac-12 Conference men's basketball race slip away this past weekend.
In the jumbled mess that is the Pac-12, the Cardinal fell back into the middle instead of rising to the top.
Trevor Stanback/Stanford Athletics
Unlike those other three teams, Arizona State, Utah, Colorado, Stanford's postseason possibilities have somehow found a path into quicksand.
There's no time to dwell on things. California is waiting for the Cardinal to show for a 5 p.m. game Sunday in Berkeley. It's classified as a road game and Stanford is 2-9 when playing away from Maples Pavilion.
For any chance to keep playing following the Pac-12 tournament, Stanford has to win four of its next six guaranteed games remaining, and four are on the road.
This crazy, roller coaster of a season, has produced a whole range of emotions. Maddening and delirious as it is, Stanford clings to the chance of actually making it to the postseason.
Sunday's game played out like many other games this season. Down by as many as 16, Stanford rallied to cut the deficit to one in the second half.
Senior Dorian Pickens scored 10 of his game-high 18 points in the second half, including a key three during a late Stanford run.
Back-to-back threes from Isaac White and Pickens with a little more than nine minutes remaining sparked a 13-5 Cardinal run that brought Stanford (13-13, 7-6 Pac-12) within 50-49. Pickens added another three and Daejon Davis contributed the final four points of the run on back-to-back buckets.
Colorado (15-10, 7-6 Pac-12) responded with the next six points to regain its advantage.
A three-point play from Trevor Stanback got it down to four at 56-52 with a little more than three minutes to play, but the Buffaloes again responded with consecutive threes to hold off the Cardinal in the end.
In the first half, Colorado used a 9-0 run to build a double-digit lead. It ballooned to 31-16 late in the half, before consecutive buckets by Reid Travis late in the half made it 31-20 at the break.
The Cardinal was held to its lowest point production (20) in a half in 46 games, since scoring 19 at SMU on Dec. 19, 2016.
Pickens also had four three pointers in the game to move past Matt Lottich and David Mosley and into sole possession of 10th on Stanford's career three pointers list with 170.
Davis finished with 12 points and Travis added 10 points and six rebounds to round out the Cardinal in double figures in the contest.