The tougher team won.
Stanford, not always known for its grit, had more of the stuff Sunday and knocked off No. 2 seed Kansas 60-57 to advance to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament.
The 10th-seeded Cardinal (23-12), playing in its first NCAA tournament since 2008, advances to Memphis for a Thursday regional semifinal against Dayton (25-10) of the Atlantic-10 Conference.
Stanford's defense held the Jayhawks (25-10) to a season-low point total and 22 points below their scoring average. Star freshman Andrew Wiggins, projected as perhaps the No. 1 pick in this year's NBA draft, scored a career-low four points.
"We were really aggressive from the tip, we didn't let them bully us around. I really think we were the tougher team tonight and that shows on the score," senior Josh Huestis said.
Junior Anthony Brown said that approach is critical in NCAA tournament play.
"A lot of these games people don't shoot necessarily real well," he said. "If we can make it a grind-it-out game, we feel all the lessons we've learned this year in terms of not coming out on top when the game was close, we're starting to learn how to win close games."
Ahead most of the first half, the Cardinal had to show its resolve after the Jayhawks battled back to tie the game at 49-all with just over 5 minutes left.
Two free throws by Dwight Powell and three (out of four) by Anthony Brown gave Stanford a 58-51 lead with 32.4 seconds left.
But KU didn't slink off quietly. Sharpshooter Conner Frankamp made a pair of 3-pointers, the last one from 25 feet with 14.9 seconds left, and Stanford's lead was down to 59-57.
Brown made just one of two free throws with 12.9 seconds left, giving the Jayhawks one more shot. But Frankamp's last-second 3-point try to tie -- defended well by Chasson Randle -- wasn't close.
"We kept digging in. Had to secure balls, not turn it over, make our free throws to end it," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "We made just enough."
Huestis couldn't immediately describe his emotions following the victory. But he wasn't surprise.
"I always expect us to come out and play like that because that's our potential. That's how good we can be," he said. "We go into every game knowing what to do. It's just a matter of us executing. And we really did that tonight."
The tougher team won.