Sean Miller’s first major NCAA tournament break (an 11-seed in the Sweet Sixteen is a treasure) naturally must be against his ex-girlfriend (wife?). Because if we’re to take Chris Mack at his word, there’s a few things at play here: 1) He and Miller have already agreed that Xavier will win this one, 2) That it really stinks to battle your mentor. We have to imagine the former is a joke and the latter a sharp reality and the converse – playing your mentee – is no more fun.
Alas, let’s learn a little bit more about playing this particular 11 seed tomorrow:
Sweet Sixteen – #11 Xavier
You might’ve read my Pac-12 preseason predictions. If not some of them here then if you were traveling in the early November time frame you might’ve seen them featured in USA Today’s College Basketball Special Edition/leaflet. My friend bought me a copy en route to a wedding in Mexico and left it in the hotel shuttle. I have the best friends!
If you didn’t click the above link, here’s how I had things shaking out: Continue reading
It’s not decided and Spencer, Cody and I discuss as much on this week’s podcast. You should give it a listen (it’s also linked at the bottom meaning you can simul-consume: podcast + these power rankings) – flop into it if you will (Is that a saying?).
Of course it has to be noted that no Pac-12 (or 10) team has ever achieved in-conference perfection. Stanford, Arizona and UCLA have accumulated 17-1 seasons. It’s hard to do. Saturday projects to be fantastic theater and it is one of just 10 marquee games (remember, marquee = Arizona, UCLA, and Oregon are playing one of each other) we’ll be delighted to this season. Can’t
Power Rankings are rooted in the present, an expression of immediate results accounting for only the current taste on an evaluator’s tongue. The best of PR’s are a declaration of recency bias, rationalized the facts, figures and stones.
Here’s my recency bias without recently posting any Power Rankings. Also, the following, unless noted as an opinion, consists of no alternative facts.
I’m skipping straight to Saturday’s game. It’s neither my job nor responsibility to be weary of overlooking an opponent. Arizona’s visit to USC is intriguing and I’m indubitably, unequivocally, absolutely watching. I’m in fact meeting a new hoops friend – RTC contributor, Michael Lemaire – for a Thursday evening of viewing and fandom. A delight.
But I’m not previewing Arizona’s visit to the Galen Center. Continue reading
I’ll spare you the details of my Thanksgiving indulgence. Most of us indubitably did it and if you didn’t I admire you. For me, the ubiquity of food and rain placed the “go outside and be active” threshold far too high to go outside and be active. But seriously, was it a first down?
Alas, while I’ve spared you my Thanksgiving, I thought I’d note that I’m likely headed to Friday’s Pac-12 Championship game and my fan allegiance is completely for sale. So what’s it to you? What would you pay or provide to have the self-proclaimed preeminent Pac-12 basketball blogger cheer for your (football) team in the dimly attended Pac-12 Championship Game?
A brief review of my Pac-12 championship game resume:
- Championships attended: 1
- Rooting interest record: 0-1
- Rooting interest margin: -38
- Seating fortune: Covered during rain
- Average time of arrival: Legal to drink on CalTrain
- Average time of departure: Early 3rd quarter
- Post-championship beverage of choice: Pisco Sour
I encourage you to take the above into serious consideration as you – Colorado and Washington fans, or even USC fans rooting for Washington and subsequently the Rose Bowl backdoor – prepare offers. For convenience purposes, I own several black pieces and one purple. Thus, attire will not be required but appreciated.
Finally, Pac-12, post-Feast Week, team capsules in no particular order (we’re not ready for Power Rankings): Continue reading
I’ve previewed all of the teams except ASU (11th best team so…pass and really just no time). It’s been a distracting week. College basketball is here. This is the preview of my team. Here’s where I previewed the others!
At initial writing, Chance Comanche was still suspended, indefinitely, from playing for Arizona (it’s since been announced that he will play today vs. Michgan State). His suspension allowed us a gloriously tragic photo narrative. Because Allonzo Trier is officially not in Hawaii; Ray Smith sustained his third ACL tear (terrible) and has retired from basketball; Graduate transfer and native Tucsonan, Talbot Denny, also tore his ACL in the pre-season and is out for the year; recall that former Arizona commit Terrence Ferguson headed down under to pursue a paycheck in lieu of college. That’s five scholarship players disappearing in three months time, with one reappearing just this week (Comanche). Consider that another of the allotted 13 schollies is held by Dylan Smith, an ineligible transfer, and Arizona was briefly left with seven scholarship players right:
Of course Comanche is back now but eight isn’t miles better than seven. Consider a practice. Consider a full season grind, an injury here or a tweaked body part there. While depth is overrated in college basketball as quantified by the % of bench minutes used by Final Four teams, it’s not overrated when it comes to protecting against the trials of a season (i.e. Dylan Ennis (foot) <> Casey Benson, Allonzo Trier (hand) <> no Elliott Pitts (last year), Xavier Johnson <> George King)
Last season on Anywhere but Anaheim
Your favorite Pac-12 school is seeded right about where it should be. The Conference of Champions got what it deserved which was thorough representation in the NCAA tournament, decent regionalization, and Sir Charles for his annual homerism. Consider that seven bids is historic for this conference and there really isn’t much to be bugged about here. That’s an accomplishment. Consider further that the torchbearer is neither Arizona nor (definitively) UCLA and it’s a considerable accomplishment. Helluva 2016, Pac. But it’s not over yet (I unfortunately don’t think we’re very far from the end, however) and we’ve got a bracket to digest. Let’s walk through the Pac’s seeding and tourney prospects:
*this post originally posted on Rush The Court
#1 Oregon, West Region:
On Monday the Pac-12 coaches voted for their conference’s awards and it was without controversy. Which isn’t to say the conference went the way of mundane chalk but rather that it was a season of generally solid things. Nothing rocked the boat.
Alas, this isn’t the post where we pick apart the awards – a fool’s errand. This is the post where I select my own all conference team then look at the actuals. Basically we look at where I went WRONG.
My 2016 Pac-12 Awards
Gabe York once dunked over a kid in a high school game. As York was an Arizona commit, I probably watched that moment on loop 1000 times. The poor kid had no idea it was coming. York elevated over the unsuspecting high schooler and made him poster material (although I think it’s time that we update the insult from posterized to Vined or Tubed or something more to the digital effect). Here it is but know that it’s a featured search result for “Gabe York dunk” Continue reading