If I’m ever given the opportunity to accept an award with a microphone and an audience, may I please have the charisma, confidence and composure to pull off a “hashtag suck it.” Bravo, Cate Blanchett. Anyhow, we’ve got one of twelve seeds locked up for Vegas and I’m getting the itch to go. Is there a chance we get the Hollywood elite to pass the hat for PacHoops?
Leader in the Clubhouse: A few teams made some nice statements with regards to the big tournament and seeding for the littler tournament but the Arizona Wildcats became the 2014 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Champions. It is the school’s twenty-sixth conference championship and the fist of three nets the team set out to cut. They’ve also sealed the conference title in sizzling hot fashion. The points per possession differentials across their last three games: .19, .41, .41. They’re destroying people as their defense is the best in the country and they’ve rediscovered their athletic ways on the break. In their last three games, the Wildcats have taken 25.5% of their shots in transition. Their season average has been 21.1% (171st in the country). We wondered how this team would adjust to life without Brandon Ashley and there you have it. Faster, similarly defensive, and hotter than a pistol in the game’s most important month.
Now with regards to how this section has played out through other portions of the season, I feel it necessary to note that Oregon achieved a road sweep this weekend. I don’t care, not in the least, that Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams didn’t play. Oregon needs to stockpile wins at a point in the year when those opportunities are becoming sparse. Additionally, after a tough ski trip, the Sun Devils bounced back and destroyed the Bay schools. Big weekend for them to get back on track.
Biggest Loser: I was tuned into both the Oscar’s and the UCLA-OSU game because who isn’t into drama? I was loosely preparing to anoint the Bruins the biggest loser should they absorb a home sweep. Alas, that was never the case so this week’s biggest loser is, right here in my backyard…THE BAY AREA SCHOOLS! Sure winning on the road is tough but neither team even bothered to show up. They were collectively outscored by 71 points, an average 17.8 points. The Arizona schools shot 50.2% from the field this weekend which – for those of you short on math – means they made more shots than they missed. With both Stanford and Cal looking to bolster their resumes, they didn’t.
What We Learned: I already mentioned it – Arizona’s transition offense – but let’s re-discuss this. After Ashley went down and the Wildcats dropped two of four and nearly another pair to Oregon and Utah, they seemed to be the dead elite walking. And then something clicked and they showed us all just how good they can be again and it looks like this:
In Defense Of: Steve Alford’s temper
Steve Alford said he was so angry with UCLA’s first-half effort, he shed his jacket in the locker room. Didn’t throw it. Laid it on a chair.
— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) March 3, 2014
The YouTuber: I. Hate. L. G.