LAS VEGAS -- Stanford might be taking decisions out of the hands of the NCAA tournament selection committee and its own athletic director.
The Cardinal scored a wire-to-wire 79-58 victory over third-seeded Arizona State on Thursday night to advance to the semifinals of the Pac-12 tournament for the first time since 2008.
With the victory, Stanford (21-11) takes a huge step closer to earning a spot in its first NCAA tournament since '08, which could also secure the future of coach Johnny Dawkins.
The Cardinal plays Friday night against No. 2 seed UCLA (24-8), which routed red-hot Oregon 82-63. The Bruins beat Stanford twice this season.
Stanford played like a team that wasn't satisfied with its opening-round win over No. 11 seed Washington State, although general consensus was that win might have locked up the Cardinal's NCAA bid.
"We started out this season with one main goal, and that's to win the Pac-12. The rest will take care of itself," forward Josh Huestis said. "If we do that, we don't put it in anybody's hands, we've got the bid."
The victory also provided more input to Stanford athletic director Bernard Muir, who said after last season Dawkins needed to get the program into the NCAA tournament after five straight misses.
Dawkins called the game "one of the best efforts I've seen us have this season. We put everything together at both ends of the floor."
Huestis didn't see the performance as extraordinary but an example of the team reaching its potential.
"So from now on," he said, "it's a matter of achieving that same level of aggressiveness and toughness."
The Cardinal attacked on offense, going right at ASU shot-blocker Jordan Bachynski, and shut down two of the Sun Devils' chief offensive weapons.
NBA-bound point guard Jahii Carson, who had averaged 28.8 points in five games in Las Vegas, was scoreless at halftime and finished with 10 points on 4-for-13 shooting. Jermaine Marshall, who feasted on Bay Area teams this season, had just four points.
The Cardinal tweaked its defensive assignments, putting the 6-foot-6 Anthony Brown on 5-11 Carson. "He's had a lot of success against us in the past," Dawkins said of Carson. "Anthony really took a challenge."
ASU (21-11), with a strong RPI computer rating and a win over Arizona on its resume, is likely to get into the NCAA field despite a 2-8 record away from Tempe, Ariz.
Stanford guard Chasson Randle scored 21 points -- his fourth straight game of 20 or more. Dwight Powell, limited by foul trouble in the first half, scored all 15 of his points in the second half, including a 3-pointer that made it 72-51 with 3:40 left.
Powell was one of the Cardinal players who went right at Bachynski more than once. "That's definitely been one of our focuses, just to be aggressive and try to bring the fight to them," Powell said.
Huestis had 12 points and seven rebounds, and Brown had 11 points.
Stanford scored the game's first nine points, led 30-27 at halftime, then gradually pulled away.
Arizona 71, Utah 39: Nick Johnson scored 14 points, T.J. McConnell added 13 and the No. 4 Wildcats matched the most lopsided game in Pac-12 tournament history.
Arizona (29-3) set records for fewest points allowed, fewest field goals (12) and lowest shooting percentage (25). The Wildcats held the Utes (21-11) to 13 points in the first half, another record, and matched UCLA's 32-point win over Oregon State in 2006.
UCLA 82, Oregon 63: Jordan Adams scored 15 points and the Bruins (24-8) ran away from the Ducks (23-9) in the second half and snapped Oregon's eight-game winning streak.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.