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Yes, we’re at that time of year where you’re only as good as your last game and perhaps rightfully so. The big race in the Pac-12 might be to avoid the five seed and get yourself into that bye game seat. But, like I said, you’re only as good as your last box score so just win. We said it after Washington was rolled by Oregon and the concept remains true. Especially while looking at a weekend such as this one in which there’s a whole slate of uninteresting must-wins.
And here’s the thing, relying on the conference tournament for a tourney birth is mid-major stuff. Win some ball games and let the Conference of Champions logo and Larry Scott take care of you. Or at least that’s the way it’s supposed to be. That’s how it works in the Big East and for all that I want to knock it they get into the tournament. It’s not like New Coke. There’s one recipe: winning. Stick to it.
Say, speaking of tournaments, you oughta get over here and vote in the Pac-12 Coaches Death Match. How does your coach stack up? Vote, comment, share.
TV Complaint: The best team in the conference and the team ESPN and others have refused to call a tournament “lock” – but what’s that really matter with two weekends left and conference tourneys to play – won’t be aired tonight. This fact further confirms my issue from Monday’s opener that Utah is the black hole of the conference right now and renders their opponent – regardless of RPI, prestige, standings – completely irrelevant. Then, of course, there’s the web airing of UCLA’s game which I don’t know what to make of. ASU and UCLA represent the two largest population bases in the conference and will have their game – regardless of RPI, prestige, standings – also rendered completely irrelevant. However, unlike our other game of irrelevance, the Bruins and Devils are at fault.
Game of the Weekend: It’s not UCLA and Arizona. That used to be an edge of your seat game in which champions and regional seedings were determined. Now it’s reluctantly broadcast on CBS as two teams with underwhelming resumes battle in one of the more unique must-wins in recent Arizona history. Alas, none of that equates to a game of the weekend. That prize swiftly and obviously goes to Sunday’s Colorado-California game (assuming Colorado beats Stanford tonight which may or may not be a leap assumption). The Buffs are undefeated at home in conference play and quietly sit alone in third place. A win here and the Buffs catapult themselves into contention for a conference title. Real talk. When these two faced off in Berkeley – a game I attended – Boyle’s Boys outplayed the Monty Crew in a tightly contested battle. I’m excited to see what happens A) in the CEC B) with Cal having a chance to secure the conference title, and C) who Ben F picks on The Bachelor (seriously read that blog if you know what’s good for you).
Game to Avoid: Too easy here. USC visits ASU. Blah, blah, these two are so bad but maybe it’s like that wedding where you grossly disapprove of the marrying pair. He’s overly involved in her, the bend over backwards type. She’s beyond high maintenance, a Bridezilla so miserable WE Tv wouldn’t even take her (googled that reference). Everyone disapproves. But it’s going to be an open bar so you’re going to go. Nah. This game isn’t even worth the open bar.
Something to Prove: This one is falling squarely on the shoulders of the Colorado Buffaloes. There’s a case to be made for Arizona and Oregon again as they’re both in contention for quality seeding or to at least avoid the five seed. But they each had a shot to jump in the standings and dropped that ball. So now it’s the Buffs’ turn. They’re 1.5 games out of first and get a shot at Cal at home. Should they sweep out and Washington drop one down the stretch, the Colorado University Buffaloes would be your 2011-12 Pac-12 Conference Champions. Let that sink in. It’s possible and it starts Thursday against a struggling and beatable Stanford Cardinal in the CEC. #YouCantWinAtAltitude has been the most sure fire thing in the Pac-12 thus far, so why should it fail them now? Toss in that this is the last home slate for seniors Austin Dufault, Nate Tomlinson, Trey Eckloff, and Carlon Brown and you just may have a recipe for winning…the league.
Something to Lose: While first place is currently shared, I still think it’s the Washington Huskies who stand to lose a lot more than Cal anytime soon. Despite their top spot, UW can’t sit cozily in the dance with the resume they’ll be handing out to committee members. They must keep winning. Their schedule is such that they should do just that but those damn UCLA Bruins tend to throw a wrench in everyone’s assumptions. I’ll say it, “THEY’RE SCARY.” But they’re also not. Anyhow, no need to analyze those guys at this point as UW and the Wroten/Ross show are seemingly rolling but not yet into the big dance; which is precisely what they have to lose at this point. This weekend the Huskies head to Pullman for the Apple Cup rivalry game. A trip they’ve returned victorious from just twice in the last six years. And this year doesn’t appear to be getting any easier. Brock Motum has been torching Pac-12 defenses and one of the softest spots in the Husky defense has been power forward. Brock plays the four? G’luck LoRo and crew.
Weekend YouTuber: With the Pac-12 Coaches Death Match upon us…
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