If this is 2015’s last PacHoops Power Rankings, is it kind of like our Senior Day? I’m coming back but this still marks the end. Let’s start the walk-ons, kiss the floor, and beat Utah.
There are six teams separated by two wins in the MIddle Amoeba of the Pac-12. And then Washington (not separated by two wins from #5) beats Utah on the season’s final day. The Power Rankings are here to help make some sense of things but why? have an idea. Let’s have a tournament where teams are seeded based on their 18-game records against an unbalanced schedule of conference foes? We can hold the event in Vegas and we can start it Wednesday. Who’s with me?
We probably can’t put too much into this but I found it interesting that in Andy Enfield’s four games against UCLA, his Trojans have cut the margin of defeat down a little each time.
11) WASHINGTON STATE
The Cougars rate as the worst team in the Pac-12 according to KenPom. They’re 170th in his rankings yet finished with seven conference wins and not finishing last despite the numeric prognostication. Eyeballs suggest they were actually pretty decent. How can we explain this? Looks like a case for KenPom “Luck” in which the Cougars are the 22nd luckiest team in America (only Oregon is luckier in which case you probably don’t want to touch them when it comes to your NCAA bracket). Or, in very non-anytical terms, they outperformed expectations. Good for you.
The heat under the Romar seat is getting increasingly warmer. Read this as I think it really highlights the complexities of retaining vs. releasing Romar. In short, there’s reason to keep him around – and beating Utah on senior day certainly feeds that narrative – but keeping him around also means putting him in a class all his own.
Played good old fashioned Tad-ball in beating Washington Thursday. They grinded out that win, 64-47, across 61 possessions. The defensive effort of 0.77 points per possession were the second fewest of the season. Their second best defensive performance. And then, against WSU, they had their second worst defensive performance of the season and lost in overtime (1.23 ppp). This has been a helluva long year for the Buffs and a truly trying campaign. Xavier Johnson hasn’t started a game since losing at home to Arizona. As an off-the-bench guy, he’s scoring 10 points per game on 50% shooting and grabbing 7 boards each night. He’s not starting but he’s still performing and CU is 2-1 in those games. Do what you will with this information.
I can’t really contextualize this but I find it really interesting that Cal’s average margin of defeat is 16. They lost by 39 and 4 this weekend which – the former of which clearly skews any averages. But it seems that when they lose, they lose. They’ve lost 13 of 20 since their now cute 10-1 start.
7) OREGON STATE
Lost a game to Oregon in which they started five walk ons. These aren’t my favorite moves. There’s a strong millennial, everyone-gets-a-medal feel to them. Sports aren’t really meritocracies. The best players play – not necessarily the most deserving – and teams are engineered to win. Yes everyone has a role and it’s the coach’s job to reinforce those. So just cause it’s your last game, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve earned a start. Alas, it also means a lot to those kids and I know it’d mean a lot to me, too. Plus, sports <3 narrative.
Was told this occurred just moments after Nastic was caught flopping all over the court:
Almost seems a microcosm for the Cardinals’ season: feigned toughness with little substance. Disappointing season for Stanford. Not all that surprising.
5) ARIZONA STATE
Remember last week when I decided to quit on trying to lay out all of the scenarios for each team’s Vegas seedings? This is exactly why I didn’t:
The 5 seed would be a nice thing. So we have no problem saying go get that W @APlayersProgram
— Sun Devil MBB (@SunDevilHoops) March 7, 2015
They jumped three spots and rooted for their archenemy. March: When weird shit happens.
Nothing to see here. Just keep refreshing this page.
Losing to Washington is pretty bad. There’s really no two ways about it. The Dawgs have been playing miserably and for nothing. The Utes, meanwhile, have the nation’s second best 2-pt FG% defense in the land. So naturally Nigel Williams-Goss goes 10-13 inside the arc? I don’t know when Player of the Year votes were submitted but this weekend might’ve cost Delon Wright the award despite an individually stellar weekend. He played fantastic (18/8/8 and 21/3/2) but his team fell to the third line in Vegas seeding and will head there with no semblance of momentum. The Utes have now lost three of five.
So the Oregon Ducks are going to be this conference’s two seed. In the final ten games of the last two regular seasons, Dana Altman teams are 17-3. They won the 2013 Pac-12 tournament and made a great run in the 2014 NCAA tournament. They’ve catapulted themselves into this NCAA tournament and won their final three games on the road, including a hostile and hard fought Civil War this past Wednesday night.
Did Arizona senior day work out perfectly? Matt Korcheck scored the game’s first bucket, TJ McConnell had a double-double, and the Wildcats rolled, cutting down the nets and storming the student section. Seriously, look at that video and you’ll see more people inside McKale once the game was over than perhaps were seen in the Galen Center all year. And now, name me a hotter team in the country? They just dominated the Pac-12 – beating every team in the conference by double-digits – and in six-years in Tucson, Sean Miller is 79-29 in Pac-12 play.
Arizona outscored the Pac-12 by 0.29 points per trip, highest major-conference mark Tuesday Truths has ever seen. Salute. — John Gasaway (@JohnGasaway) March 8, 2015