WANE: The Calm Before The Vegas

Because we’re honest with each other, Spencer and I really weren’t sure what to Pod-out this week. Arizona had wrapped the conference, Stanford was Dawkinsing, UCLA is just letting things play out, and – well – Oregon has impressed. But then 30-minutes of Pac-12 basketball pre-tournament-and-everything-we-love-about-college-basketball was discussed. The madness may have already begun, but now is the calm before the Vegas. Before the Dance.

WANE (and on SoundCloud):

The Table:

0:15 – Welcome to the Calm Before the Storm.
1:25 – Spencer doesn’t think that one should simply assume a Arizona vs. Utah rematch in the championship game.
3:45 – An examination of the Utah Utes.
5:45 – It’s not the size of your data Adam, it’s how you use it!
6:15 – Why Utah’s lacking in
7:20 – Get excited about the tournaments of March.
8:00 – The competitive tiers of this season’s national landscape, and where Utah lands.
9:00 – Spencer delivers a Christmas Card rant on wishing the Utes the best in the dance.
10:20 – #WANE talks basketball outside the Pac! For non-experts we sure can hang.
12:10 – Arizona “waitlisted” on the NCAA Tournament 1-seed line.
13:55 – We want to see Arizona in the West Region.
15:00 – Spencer gives his acceptance speech to recently being named a moderator of r/pac12
16:30 – Spencer evaluates Villanova and we ponder if we would rather have them in Arizona’s bracket than Gonzaga.
19:00 – Time to talk about the Ducks. Dana Altman Pac-12 Coach of the Year?
20:40 – Back to Oregon and the win over Stanford
22:30 – Stanford grow a pair.
23:10 – Spencer shows you how using a loaded question can fail you.
24:00 – What Oregon and Stanford need to do to get into the tournament
26:15 – This week’s Pac-12 viewing guide.
28:00 – UCLA is stuck in the wake of the national bubble.
29:20 – Boom! 30 minute cast for your enjoyment. Not forced.

4 thoughts on “WANE: The Calm Before The Vegas

  1. I want the conference to do well in March. I like UA, but not totally sold on them advancing past the Sweet 16 due to their lack of cohesive offense. I understand metrics and what they say about efficiency, but my mind and eyes cannot wrap my arms around the Cats. Defensively they are a force to be reckoned with, but the Pac-12 this year really doesn’t have an offensive unit that scares anybody so it’s difficult to quantify exactly how good Arizona’s defense really is. Do you feel me? UA is very much like the movie Boyhood. I wanted to like it. I thought it was a perfectly executed film. Loved the premise – but at the end of the day I was sure it wasn’t better than Chef or the Lego Movie. What I’m saying is, much like the Big Ten and Big East, I’m not sure how good the Pac-12 really is this year. I’m not sold on Arizona’s guards – especially their ability to hit jumpers against a team that has the size and athleticism to match up with their frontcourt (possible second round opponents like LSU or SMU come to mind).
    I think Utah playing outside Salt Lake City is rather ordinary and a team a play-in game winner would like to face. Oregon can’t defend size. UCLA, if they make the tournament, is just as likely to lose by twenty-five or make it to the Sweet 16 if Parker and Looney stay on the floor. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m certain the conference did very little to prepare UA for the tournament. The Cats have the talent and pedigree to make noise in March, but they need to get lucky with match ups to get Miller to his first Final Four.

    1. First of all, you can’t compare anything to the movie CHEF because literally nothing bad happens. It’s just John Favreau writing a script where he gets to hook up with Scarlett Johansson and Sofia Vergara. Every college basketball team should be so lucky.

      But I can’t say I entirely disagree with you. The numbers disagree – which would’ve been my first point to note – but that’s not what we’re debating. There are still significant scoring droughts that this team goes through (most notably against Utah and UCLA lately). Their vaunted defense hasn’t been particularly tested. That said, the offense, on some levels, has. Against Utah, Arizona managed 1.21 ppp in Tucson then 1.03 ppp in Salt Lake (1st and 6th in ppp against vs. Utah this season). Alas, we’ve dove into the numbers. I think one thing that concerns us about Arizona is that there losses can’t necessarily be pin point on one or the other (D or O). Offense has let them down and defense has, too. Of course that’s really only in 3 games. Outside of those, Arizona has obliterated – to your point – bad competition.

      Big picture, you’re spot on with your points. Oregon is serviceable at best on the defensive end and I wonder how long Joe Young can stay hot. UCLA is as talented a starting lineup as you’d be scared to play in the tournament. They’re unfortunately misguided. But when all you’ve got to do is win one…spooky. As for Utah, I’m excited to see how they do. They really haven’t been regularly tested in uncomfortable places. They reacted well in Kansas but still wound up folding late. They can be good enough to beat anyone in the country, March is the time to prove it.

      See you in Vegas?

      1. I’ll be in Austin, but I’ll tune in. Good luck to the Cats. Hope my Bruins get a chance for the Vegas hat trick ( three tourney wins in a row over UA) and sneak into the big dance. Enjoy your blog.

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