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Cardinal crash out of another dance

Updated: March 22, 2004, 12:35 PM ET
By Ray Ratto | Special to ESPN.com

SEATTLE -- In time, Mike Montgomery will learn to hate what happened to his Stanford Cardinal on Saturday afternoon at KeyArena.

In fact, he pretty much hates it now. The Cardinal lost to Alabama, 70-67, in a fashion so galling and unforgivable that it almost makes people forget how good Stanford's body of work actually was.

But few things chafe him quite like the artificial templates of seasons past, conference reputations, the tyranny of old shattered brackets and the cruel assumptions ...

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