I’m not going to go into great detail on this weekend. There were few thrilling games (although Cal-SDSU lived up to its billing), no compelling match ups (although UCLA lived up to it’s train wreck status, more on that later), and not much scoring (only three of the ten participating Pac-12 teams broke the 70-point mark which ain’t gonna earn you free tacos).
The Good: Stanford and Oregon State are good teams – at least by 2011-12 Pac-12 standards. The Cardinal hosted a decent NC State Wolfpack and won, 76-72. It’s become apparent, if you’re following the national scene, that NC State is becoming the token big conference team giving other big conference teams relevant challenges and subsequent W’s. They’ve now played this role for Stanford, Vanderbilt, and Indiana. Quickly, Chasson Randle is good.
Oregon State was particularly tested but did win, handily over Montana. Lately, I’m having to make the unfortunate argument of which teams are good/bad based on their easy victories. The Beavers, more than other teams, are handling the teams they should and are being rewarded for it on pachoops. I’m going to quit this little rant and just say, keep watching Jared Cunningham.
The Bad: For me, the most appealing storyline of the weekend was self-derived. I proposed this question to my nominal but terrific twitter following:While I received no responses, I thought it was a phenomenal question, my failure was in not following up with my own predictions but one had to assume USC would be a good bet. So as you may or may not know, the Ducks beat the hapless but spirited UCLA Bruins in the aforementioned inaugural Pac-12 Football Championship game, 49-31.
That means, per my question, ten teams played gunning to outscore the Ducks’ 49 points.
A little statistical analysis shows us that on three occasions, a Pac-12 team has not eclipsed this mark. ASU put a 44 spot on the Fairfield Stags, Utah lit up Harvard for 47 big ones, and USC – this Championship weekend – blew up for 40 KOs (that’s what I’m going to call USC’s points this season). Not surprisingly, each of these efforts resulted in a loss.
I’m not going to go much further into this statistical analysis because, frankly, it’s not worth delving deep into poor play. I’m more interested in looking at what good, happened.
The Ugly: On Friday, I asked you to tune into the UCLA-Texas game like you were rubber necking on the 405. Early on, the Bruins did their best to prove they weren’t the awkward situation everyone is quickly making them out to be. They were rolling, up 30-19. Then, the lights went out. Sure, that may read metaphorically but I mean it in a literal sense. With just under four minutes remaining in the first half and the Bruins rolling, the lights went out in the LA Sports Arena. For thirteen minutes, the Bruins and Longhorns were delayed (along with a whopping 6,177 fans in 14,500 seats) for 13 minutes. From that point on, Ben Howland’s sorry troupe was outscored 50-29. For more, read this, and know that Reeves Nelson and Josh Smith combined for 6-points, 6-rebounds, and 24 minutes.
POW: As per league headquarters, Solomon Hill was the player of the week. He continues his solid play, a “jack of all trades” who is “playing better than he ever has” according to his coach, Sean Miller. Hyperbole never hurt anyone, but come on...