Did Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer fire the men’s team after a shocking early exit?

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.

Stanford head coach Tara VanDerVeer tried to remain objective about her team’s shocking loss in the second round of the NCAA Women’s Tournament. (Photo by Bob Coupons/ICON Sportswire via Getty Images)

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.

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As they say in sports, there’s always next year.

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