The game of the year was played this week and it wasn’t in Seattle (I see you, Russ) and it wasn’t in Tucson (though I see you, Stanley). If on Wednesday I’d written that the GotW was going to be played during #Pac12AfterDark in Pullman, you’d have thought me crazy. But Ernie got his first win over his old team and it was full on crazy. Further, Arizona rolled up on Utah just to remind everyone where the Pac-12 is won. February 28, however. The one thing that delivered on its promise of greatness was Bilas-Walton on Thursday night. They talked about medicine and got into creationism. The duo delivered.
Saturday is the first ever matchup of Pac-12 teams in the Top-10. To be clarifying, the Pac-10 has had many such instances, the most un-recent of which occurred in January of 2010. This game, as it were, is significant.
Let’s get to know Utah, from the perspective of Utah, as we head into the biggest conference basketball game since, like, ever: Continue reading
From inside the Haas Pavilion for Cal-Stanford, I observed things. This is what I went home thinking about after an entertaining 69-59 Cardinal win.
1) Basketball Players are Big
I laud you to finagle yourself into excellent basketball tickets. They are a dish best served free so always say ‘yes’ when offered tickets. It remains my life’s greatest regret that I adhered to a study schedule (yes, that was a component of college life for me) rather than accept the owner (owner, as in: Man who shelled out cash to make decisions) of the San Diego Padres’ tickets. Of note, I did not study and watched the entire game on television. I digress. When you’re up close for a basketball game you get to see exactly how seven feet fills up a lane. Suddenly, ‘points in the paint’ isn’t a statistic, it’s a goddamn Purple Heart. Length isn’t so much a draft component, it’s the tentacles of The Kraken.
2) Adam’s an Architect
By: Spencer Smith
The Pac-12 this year is Utah, Arizona and the field. And while pretty much no one expects the other 10 programs to challenge the Utes and Wildcats for a conference crown, there is still plenty to be played for.
There’s an amoeba of mediocrity in the middle (say that five times fast), one that starts after the aforementioned front-runners and ends at a much more uncertain place. Stanford, UCLA, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State are in there. Washington State is making a case for being in there. Washington, Cal and Arizona State are desperately trying to convince you they are still there. USC plays basketball. Continue reading
There’s so much to discuss. From Oregon’s run to the national title; my trip this weekend to Denver for a Bar Mitzvah where I’ll be either the oldest kid or the youngest adult but where either scenario ends with me at the kid’s buffet; this power movie; the conference’s first Top-10 showdown since everyone liked UCLA’s coach (January 12, 2008 #4 WSU @ #5 UCLA); the texts I got from my grandpa, a tOSU grad, all Monday night; or just an extra 80-words on the direction of the Tinkle tenure. But in reality, this is all that matters:
Our game against Colorado on Jan. 15 has been confirmed for ESPN at 7 p.m. MST. Dave Pasch, Bill Walton and Jay Bilas on the call.
— Arizona Basketball (@APlayersProgram) January 6, 2015
Yes, kids, must hear television. We get Bilas and Walton this week. I don’t know what we did right, but let’s keep on doing it. Our week:
Game of the Week
Episode 2 is a live broadcast which we explain in greater detail deeper into the pod. This week we naturally explore Oregon State’s monster win over Arizona and – perhaps unnaturally – ignore the college football championship for our Duck faithful. #BackThePac. Also, how ’bout that new header, eh?
WANE (or on SoundCloud):
It’s a frustrating game and there are a lot of ways your team can frustrate you. From anything that happens on the court to the litany of things they screw up off of it. It’s the curse of fandom. And maybe you’re an optimist – see growth opportunities in a failed in-bounds or benching due to tardiness. Bless you and may that spirit take you far.
Of course one of the most frustrating things is when your team is struggling. When they just seem to suck but you can’t really figure out why. You can’t quantify it, there’s just a feeling – effing feelings – but you know it and the slouched shoulders aren’t helping. Neither is the scoreboard.
That’s maybe the feeling for Colorado right now. Continue reading
Only twice before has Wayne Tinkle even competed against a KenPom Top-10 team. He lost those two games by an average of 35.5 points. And then Sunday happened and it was basically a lot of this all happening at once. Namely, Tinkle Time arrived and as crunch time hit, only one team was tinkling down its leg. Big win.
The biggest game out of the state of Oregon of course comes tonight. Begging the question as to which should be more discussed? Beavers or Ducks? In my estimation its a no brainer. It’s not really even a question except for this guy who needed to learn how to take screen grabs (check the browser search windows). G’luck Ducks – may you fair better than the Pac’s Middle Amoeba.
12) ARIZONA STATE
- The Future of Basketball Is Here, and it Looks a Lot Like James Harden – Excellent look at how the Houston Rockets have engineered their roster and the manner in which they play basketball. It’s interesting to read how NBA teams work so hard to maximize their offensive potential while the college game is so widely centered on defense. The talent discrepancy can’t be ignored and defense often allows you to mask those gaps. But it would be interesting to see a college team try something along the lines of what the Rockets are doing.
- Art of the Alley-Oop – This was evidently pieced together by students at the Washington journalism school. It’s well done and tells a good story of one of our favorite plays. Also some unique design elements.
- Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter – There is a hidden brilliance in this counter-trolling effort by the Frederick News-Post. I encourage you to read this and note the first letters of each of the article’s paragraphs. I think you’ll like this one.
**updated! Just discovered the first link was busted. Here’s the noob:
- Dish’s new Sling TV is a huge deal. Here’s Why – I have a great drinking buddy with whom I’ve taken the conversation deep into the night on this subject. Live sports – as this article acutely highlights – is keeping cable alive as we know it. Dish’s latest incarnation, Sling TV, is a first effort to stay ahead of the evolving way in which we consume. Also, take note of the Per User chart. Those are some of the prices the Pac-12 Networks is competing with as they continue to find deals with the providers.
- Film Session: How Does Virgina’s ‘Pack-line’ defense work and how do you beat it – Dauster does a very succinct and easy-to-follow breakdown of how the Pack-line defense works. This is the defense that Arizona uses and – as the title suggests – provides a blue-print for how to beat the defense. Does your team have the pieces – the movement – to create the match ups necessary to beat it?