''It's special to still be playing basketball right now,'' Owens said. ''There are a lot of teams who'd like to be playing right now.''
Josh Huestis added 12 points for the Cardinal (24-11), who will meet UMass at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. Aaron Bright had 10 points for Stanford, which has won 10 more games than it did a year ago.
''The most important thing is to have a successful run,'' Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. ''We want to be champions and we still have that chance. We want to put up a banner in Maples Pavilion.''
Owens, a freshman on the 2008 team that included three future NBA players, is the final link to the Cardinal's last appearance in the NCAA tournament.
''It's been an amazing five years, the last four under coach Dawkins,'' Owens said. ''He's a teacher of the game who has seen it at every level.''
Malik Story scored 14 points to lead the Wolf Pack (28-7), who had won six of their previous seven games. Deonte Burton added 13 points and Olek Czyz had 11.
''They came out and established tempo and we didn't respond very well,'' Nevada coach David Carter said. ''We seemed to be a step behind them the whole time. This is still a young team and it was the first time we had a chance to play on a big stage.''
The Wolf Pack more than doubled their win total of a year ago.
''It's disappointing when you have a chance to do something special but come up short,'' Nevada senior Dario Hunt said. ''But I can't be disappointed about the season. We were 13-19 last year. I'm proud of my guys to come back the way they did. The future's bright for this team. I'll look forward to seeing how they do next year.''
The Cardinal, who were ahead 42-27 at the break and led by as many as 32, set a school record with their 17th win at home.
Hunt, Nevada's leading rebounder, was called for a pair of fouls in the first 8 minutes and was 0 of 3 from the floor as the Wolf Pack shot 36 percent in the first half and trailed by as many as 18. He finished with two points and four rebounds.
Stanford shot over 53 percent for the game, including 57 percent from long range, and outscored the Wolf Pack 21-5 in points off turnovers.
''This was our best game of the season on both ends of the court,'' Dawkins said. ''The seniors were able to celebrate a win in their last game here.
LSU coach Trent Johnson, who coached both Stanford and Nevada in the NCAA tournament, was in attendance.
- the Cardinal