This set of ball games is wildly appealing to me but sometimes – and I hope you can relate with me here – other things get in the way of even Pac-12 basketball. Be it family, work, or the rotating Pac-12 schedule, I’m not going to go to these games. Now you might ask yourself, How do these differ from The Pac-12 Road Trip: Just absolutely cannot? And that would be a fair question. Those were games that I want to attend but almost literally cannot. Come on, I’m not going to South Korea for an Oregon game that’s released something like 100 tickets to the public. You think anyone not named NIKE is getting those? These are games that I could attend and would attend, but I’m choosing to do something else. Or save money. You know, being a growed up.
- UCLA @ The Bay Area, Wednesday 2/19 & Saturday 2/22, Maples & Haas, Berkeley & Palo Alto – Evidently I don’t hold this game or weekend trip in nearly the same esteem as ESPN’s Gameday. They’ve declared this 2/22 contest (UCLA @ Stanford) as their possible P12 destination that weekend. The other option is Sean Miller and team’s visit to Tad Boyle’s house. I’m making the right choice and heading to Boulder because, you know, great basketball. And Boulder. Alas, if you’re local in the Bay – and if I was I’d be there – these are the games to attend. UCLA is UCLA and will contend for the a top spot as could these Bay schools. Dunk city.
- Arizona @ Oregon, Saturday, 2/8, 2pm, CBS, The Matt, Eugene – In 2008 I was in Eugene long enough to wander on to Mac Court (RIP). It just looked loud. Alas, since my visit, Oregon basketball quickly declined and the school would quit that building. But then they hired Dana the Head Duck and, to date, this has proved a great move. I haven’t been back to Eugene. Dammit. I’m aiming to but this season it just isn’t going to work. I’ve got too many other March travels to make this work despite Allegiant Air’s best efforts (tardy they may be). This is also the final game of the season which holds some sort of intrigue but I also imagine both of these teams will have pretty clear pictures of their post-season placement by this point and my dollars are better spent heading home to Tucson for familial duties a week later.
- Arizona @ UCLA, Thursday, 1/9, 6pm, ESPN or ESPN2, Pauley, Westwood – You know when your day job gets in the way of driving down I-5 to get to the Arizona-UCLA game? So annoying, right? This is the only game scheduled between these rivals in the 2013-14 campaign and so I really wanted to catch it. I’ve also never seen Arizona win inside that building. But like I said, that day job thing is going to get in the way so I won’t be jetting to Westwood at drive time that day.
- Arizona @ Washington, This game is literally not happening. Arizona does not have a scheduled game in Seattle and like I’ve said on repeat: I really want to get to HecEd. Looks like we’ll have to wait another year.
- Opening Rounds of Pac-12 Tournament, Wed-Fri, 3/12-14, MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas – Broken record alert! These mid-week games are going to kill my Pac-12 watching soul. There’s an outside shot I make it here but the following week I’m due in Tucson for a big day for Baby Brother. I’m not going to make this one. But you should. I attended last year and it was a glorious. I flew into Vegas at an early hour (or late if you’re going by Vegas time) and soon hit open Bloody Mary’s, the final Big East tournament, and then oodles of Pac-12 basketball. I loved it and I want you to go, too.