We’ve documented that there have been some injuries in this conference. They’ve unfortunately occurred at the risk of those playing the games and therefore Jamie Casino cannot be consulted (see The YouTuber below if you don’t know what I’m talking about). We’ve got to move forward because March approaches and like a minor league baseball career, we believe anything can happen.
GotW: The homestretch is here and with a clusterbang of overachievers, underachievers, and as we expecteds tied at 5-4, separation will ensue. We’ve talked a lot about how difficult winning on the road is. Well Cal kicked this whole thing off by beating Stanford in Maples, poopooing home court advantage and winning their next four games. The Cardinal now get their shot at revenge early on Wednesday night in this week’s GotW. I’m high on the Cardinal right now and it’s hard not to be high on Cal, too. After losing to Arizona, SDSU, Michigan, and Duke were a combined 923-2. What happens when you actually beat them? We don’t know but Cal does sit in a tie for second (tie-breaker for third) and is likely dancing right now. Meanwhile, it’s the Cardinal staring down the barrel of their fleeting collegiate lives on The Farm before they all go professional in something other than sports. Or at least that’s what their record might indicate as their talent level suggests otherwise. Whatever the case, this is a big rivalry game that included Stanford’s entire staff being ejected in last year’s game at Haas. That’s some GotW storyline material.
Game to Avoid: The only game not involving at least one team that is at least 5-4 is Washington State‘s visit to Utah. Furthermore, it’s at an all too prime of a time on a Saturday as spring is springing on us and it might be a nice evening to do something else. That said, DaVonte Lacy is back and Delon Wright and the Fighting Krystkowiak’s are worth the price of admission. But if there isn’t much on the line, and we are that much closer to the end of this season, you might be best suited doing something else.
Something to Prove: I was deliberating this one and making arguments one way or the other. Trying to weigh the consequences of a multitude of outcomes. “If this…well then those guys…but should they…and in the off chance that…” lots of introspection like that only to come to the following conclusion: If your record is 5-4, beginning this week and into the subsequent weeks, you have something to prove. You’re exonerated of any transgressions and ignored of any over-achievement. For clarity, this message is directed at 5-4 Arizona State, Colorado, Stanford, Oregon State, and Washington. Sure those ahead of you (UCLA and Cal) and behind (Utah and Oregon) have their plates full as well. But you – you of this log jam – are in an auspicious position to play yourselves into the the most hallowed of tournaments this side of the Hunger Games. May the odds ever be in your favor (except maybe ASU).
Something to Lose: Bracketology and Joe Lunardi is keeping the Oregon Ducks in the NCAA tournament conversation. This is somewhat surprising but they were once ranked 10th in the nation. The fact stands: they are in the conversation. But not for long. Not if they go and lay another big Duck egg in the desert. And yes, this is arguably the toughest road trip in the conference. But flying back to Eugene with two more losses and practicing on Monday at 3-8 isn’t going to cut it. There’s plenty of schedule remaining (two bouts with the Arizona schools and a trip to UCLA) but at a certain point the ditch you dig becomes inescapable.
The YouTuber: My dad was a personal defense attorney and he never produced anything like this. I mean nothing remotely close.