STANFORD -- Brook Lopez still isn't saying whether he'll declare for the NBA draft. For now, Stanford's 7-foot sophomore wants to help the 11th-ranked Cardinal get out of the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Seeded third in the South Regional, Stanford plays Ivy League champion Cornell in the first round Thursday in Anaheim. The Big Red is seeded 14th and has won 16 consecutive games, the second-longest active streak in the nation.
Lopez was academically ineligible for the first nine games of the season but has been among the top centers in the nation since returning in December, leading the Cardinal in scoring and rebounding.
A potential lottery pick should he declare for the draft, Lopez downplayed talk about the NBA on Sunday and is focused on trying to help Stanford win a first-round game in the tournament for the first time in four years.
"I don't really know, and I haven't thought about it," Lopez said of his future. "I'm not going to think about it until the end of the season. I'm just focused on playing a good Cornell team right now. They're in the same situation as us. This could be their last game."
Stanford (26-7) hasn't made it into the second round of the NCAA Tournament since beating Texas-San Antonio as a No. 1 seed in 2004.
The Cardinal lost to No. 8 Alabama two days later, though, and has been bounced in the first round twice since.
Stanford will have to stop one of the country's hottest teams to snap its first-round struggles.
Cornell (22-5) went undefeated in the Ivy League and hasn't lost since falling to Duke 81-67 on Jan. 6. The Big Red's 16-game winning streak is a school record and second in the country to No. 23 Davidson's 22-game streak.
Sophomore forward Ryan Wittman, son of Minnesota Timberwolves coach Randy Wittman, leads Cornell in scoring (15.4 points per game), field-goal percentage (.475) and set a career high in rebounding (4.3) this season.
"They're very skilled, and any team that's went through the league undefeated, there's an element of confidence that they're going to have," Stanford coach Trent Johnson said. "Anything can happen if you don't come ready to play."
Cornell also has a 7-foot center, Jeff Foote, to match up against Lopez and his 7-foot twin brother, Robin.
"They spread you at the perimeter," Trent Johnson said of the Big Red. "Quite frankly, I'd like to see a lot of size. The teams we struggle with are the teams that have undersized (forwards) who can put you on the perimeter and stretch you. I fully anticipate teams zoning us and trying to put as much attention as possible on our post."
Unlike 2007, when the Cardinal was the last team announced by the selection committee, Stanford didn't have to wait to find out its fate this time. The reaction was noticeably different as well.
A year ago, Brook Lopez and a few teammates picked up Trent Johnson and carried him around the team's locker room as other players cheered loudly. Guard Mitch Johnson smacked a garbage can lid so hard it broke.
The Cardinal was distinctly subdued Sunday.
"To watch it and enjoy the show is a little bit better than hoping and praying," Mitch Johnson said. "We've known for a pretty long time we were going to get in. Our focus the whole time has been on the big picture. We've stayed our course for the most part and kept our eyes on the prize."
Stanford dropped its final two regular-season games before beating Arizona and Washington State in the Pac-10 Tournament last week. The Cardinal lost to No. 3 UCLA in the championship game, 67-64.
"If we went into the tournament playing every team like it was against UCLA, we'll be all right," Lopez said.