ANAHEIM -- Stanford had heard all the numbers.
Cornell had the nation's second-longest winning streak at 16 games. It went undefeated in its league. It ranked among the national leaders in the three major shooting categories -- field-goal, 3-point and free-throw percentage.
But in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, the Cardinal made those numbers look laughable. As expected, No. 3 seed Stanford suffocated the Ivy League champions with relentless half-court defense and coasted to a 77-53 victory.
The Cardinal (27-7) should be well-rested for its second-round game on Saturday against No. 6-seed Marquette, because none of Stanford's starters played more than 23 minutes Thursday.
"It was very important for us to defend," said guard Kenny Brown, who came off the bench to lead the Cardinal with 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting. "That's what we try to identify with. We know in order to go far in this tournament, to go anywhere in this tournament, we have to play defense first."
Stanford's first NCAA Tournament triumph in four years was in the books by halftime. The bigger, faster, stronger Cardinal led by 21 and had held the sharp-shooting Big Red to 14.3 percent 3-point shooting and 15.6 overall.
Cornell's best perimeter shooters -- Ryan Wittman, Louis Dale and Adam Gore -- shot a combined 2 for 19 in the first half.
Stanford, meanwhile, put up Cornell-style offensive numbers in the opening 20 minutes -- 50 percent overall shooting and 40 percent from 3-point range.
"I thought it was a great team win," said point guard Mitch Johnson, who played only six minutes in the first half because of foul trouble. "We knew they could shoot. We did a great job of really running off screens, and I think the big guys did a good job of rebounding and controlling the paint. I think today was the best Robin and Brook (Lopez) have played from the sense of making other people better. They did a great job of getting it, evaluating the defense and getting it to the open guy."
Brook Lopez played only 15 minutes and took two shots, scoring four points -- yet Stanford still led by 36 points midway through the second half.
Twin brother Robin set an early tone, blocking shots and scoring with ease over his smaller defenders. The 7-foot sophomore, who talked a day earlier about the Cardinal's calmness, finished with 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting and five blocks.
"We knew we needed to come out there and impose our will, or else there would have been a good chance for an upset," Robin Lopez said. "Cornell's a very good ballclub."
The 14th-seeded Big Red (22-6) was perfect in the Ivy League.
But against the Pac-10's second-place team, it was badly overmatched. In addition to the shooting disparity, Stanford also outrebounded Cornell 47-25.
"They have the two 7-footers down low, so even if you fake and try to drive the lane, they can alter shots as well," said Wittman, who missed 9 of 11 shots and finished with eight points. "They've got a great defensive team, probably one of the best defensive teams we've played all year."
For Stanford coach Trent Johnson, the victory was his first in the tournament since he led Nevada to the Sweet 16 in 2004. For the Cardinal, the win was its first in the tournament since it routed Texas-San Antonio 71-45 in 2004. But that wasn't Stanford's motivation.
"We just didn't want to come out and lay an egg like last year," Brook Lopez said, referring to the 78-58 opening-round loss to Louisville.
The Cardinal accomplished its goal Thursday. Now, it will aim to move past the second round for the first time since 2001.