KellyReilly

Week 9 Pac-12 Hoops Review

If something really nuts happened pop-culturally or otherwise I’d usually reference it right here and make an obscure analogy to Pac-12 basketball or talk about Jennifer Lawrence (though I did fall in love with Kelly Reilly this weekend). And I’m no doubt certain something to that effect did occur but I was marvelously busy driving up and down the coast and missed everything except for briefly seeing a snippet of the Dennis Rodman comments on North Korea and there’s literally nothing to be said about that beyond it being bat shit crazy. Interestingly enough, we gobbled at least 25 miles of highway discussing the genesis of that very phrase “bat shit crazy.” Other topics discussed: religion, sociology, the Holocaust, upcoming concerts, the UCLA-Arizona game, sexual failures, future road trips, utter nonsense, the UCLA-Arizona game, conquests, how to infiltrate another school’s homecoming, owning a ranch, the UCLA-Arizona game, other people’s business, the UCLA-Arizona game, and how good In-n-Out was going to be once we got there.

The weekend:

Leader in the Clubhouse: First place lies in the balances between Westwood and Eugene as we head into the final weekend of the conference season. However, as this is a review, we won’t look too far down the path of which of these teams is best suited to sweep their final weekend roadie. No, I’m asking the question who the leader in the clubhouse is and while UCLA’s work this weekend was markedly impressive, the Oregon Ducks, A) Got their guy back, B) Beat Oregon State, C) still hold the tie-breaker. But let’s focus on the fact that Artis is back and that it’s sorta, kinda, semi huge. His impact hasn’t quite yet been felt and he certainly didn’t go all Ryan Kelly on us, but with the Ducks already holding the lead on the 1-seed, getting their most used player back is a major benefit.

Biggest Loser: The Arizona Wildcats officially lost any intangible edge they held by being the top ranked team in the conference. Well, clearly that had already become the case as USC showed no such fear in shooting 61% while manhandling the Wildcats. And then, in the conference’s Game of the Year, they were further exposed as a team with erratic and poor guard play and a reeling defense. Ok, again, maybe we already knew this but it all came to a giant and alarming head this weekend. Arizona is flirting with dropping out of a first round bye in Vegas and appears to have a lot more questions than answers with just one game and two tournaments remaining. Niet good.

What We Learned: I learned that new Pauley looks like it’s really new and re-confirmed that I-5 is really as boring as you’ve heard but that road trips with your friends are never a failure. I’m also pretty certain Cal is better than just a hot team. It’s time to consider them more than that and while they’re indeed en fuego, this spade is a spade as they’re dangerously close to winning the Pac-12 regular season title. I liked the way I heard Jon Wilner put it on a ESPN 1490 with Jody Oehler, to paraphrase, “Five months ago we could wrap our minds around Cal as a title contender but just two months ago it seemed absurd.” Well they’re here and its real and should either UCLA or Oregon slip up next weekend, the Bears are in greater than striking distance.

The YouTuber: I just really thought this was pretty clever considering it’s basis in reality.

  • Marc

    Love your blog. I attended the UCLA/Zona game. Loved the energy in Pauley. I like the way Cal is playing, but feel they will get a terrible seed and get the draw of death – something like 8/9 versus VCU and face Kansas or IU. UCLA looks like a viable six seed and might stay out West (hopefully, they get a chance to matchup against New Mexico or a team, like, Michigan without a physical front line).

    • http://pachoops.com awbutler

      Thanks for reading! I think you’re spot on with your Cal thoughts and UCLA I’ve felt should be a higher seed than they’ve been touted.

      For the record: I am not high on UNM.

      As for the Pauley, I liked the renovation and still feel it could get rowdier in there. But I also think that there’s something to be said for quietly knowing the banners above speak volumes. As do Baron, Barnes, Walton and the rest of the vaunted crew in attendance.

  • SFBear

    I can’t imagine Cal will go far with a terrible seed. This is looking like 2010 when they got past Louisville only to get matched up with Duke. Still has been an interesting season. Like the blog btw.

    • http://pachoops.com awbutler

      I loved that 2010 team. Christopher and Robertson were so dangerous and, of course, Randle was lethal in his final year.