I wouldn’t want to either.
This has been arguably the worst major conference performance in the history of major conferences and I wouldn’t want to win it either. Cal lost. Washington lost. Arizona lost. Colorado was swept. Bravo Ducks, but too little too late.
If you’ve been following along here all season, you know that I’ve made an effort to defend this conference, the teams that represent it, and the players who play the games. I told you that Cal was tough as nails and that Washington was talent rich and that Arizona would right its ship and that Colorado and Oregon just may be good enough to pull this thing off. I even made the argument that, at a certain point, we could toss out process and worry about final scores alone. Did you win? Yes, that’s good. No, that’ bad.
And so when this weekend came to its sulking close; as every worst case scenario played out (unless you donned green); as my three bid league prediction dissolved like a sand castle into a tsunami and as the national media moved on to discussing the at-large merits of schools that dole out liberal arts degrees, I threw in the towel.
Goodbye 2011-12, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
Or better yet, do. Let that door give you a good pop so this 2011-12 campaign stings. So that rock bottom is remembered and makes it that much sweeter when the conversation moves back to tournament seeding and not worst ever commentaries.
A brief tale: years ago, after a high school baseball game my team had lost with a lackluster effort (lollygagging if we want to tap our baseball references), we met as a team in the – deep – right field corner for a tongue lashing. Between cool offs, coach sent us on a lap but it never seemed to cool him down and at a certain point, we had to take our jerseys off because we didn’t deserve to wear them. Then we ran another lap. Then got yelled at a little more. Another lap.
The anecdotal takeaway here? Run another lap Pac-12. Lose your jersey, cause at this point no one is scared of what it says on the chest and you don’t seem to want to do much in them anyways.
Run another lap and take a minute to figure out just what you want to do in Staples because at this point it’s anyone’s to lose.
The bitter weekend:
Leader in the Clubhouse: Defaults to Oregon. I will not elaborate as “leader” infers some sort of commanding characteristic.
Game of the Weekend: Well, Washington scored seven points in the final eleven minutes of a game in which they could have clinched an outright title; Cal lead for all of 98 seconds with the same opportunity as UW; Arizona was beat by the 229th worst team in basketball (KenPom) and yielded 87 points to them; Colorado was swept on the road to finish 3-6 on the road. There was opportunity abound to seize moments – that’s what March is all about – and no one beyond Oregon did such. We were entertained to the point of pain and is that what we want? Kind of. Cause sports tweaks at the emotions like few other things do or can but heading into the greatest athletic tournament in the universe I don’t want to hurt. I want everything to be ok. No good games. None.
The Big Loser: The Pac-12 Conference. See the aforementioned everything.
What We Learned: Sorta covered this in my opening rant because I felt it couldn’t wait. I will say this however. It’s been great Previewing and Reviewing this season here with you. I hope you’ve had as much fun with this season as I have and I thank you – so very sincerely much – for reading, sharing, commenting, discussing, debating, and trying to make sense of of it all. I’m ultimately a silver lining guy so behind all of today’s ranting, I know that there’s still a Pac-12 tournament for us to get rowdy around and an entire three weeks of Madness for us to get behind whether it’s represented by the Pac or not. Good season. *Butt slap* And bear in mind that pachoops ain’t going anywhere. Stick around.
Early week Youtuber: I’m looking at you Cal, Washington, Arizona, and Colorado: