I maybe could’ve skipped this week’s Power Rankings considering the release of the Independence Day: Resurgence trailer. But that felt disrespectful during the biggest week for Star Wars nerds since they played the extended trailer during that awful Monday Night football game (I tuned in). Speaking of big weeks, the Pac-12 was supposed to have one! Turns out they had a couple of really impressive halves:
Winning in Kansas City (Go Beavs!)
Down one in Lexington (Go Devils!)
Up double digits at home against Saint Mary’s (Go Bears!)
Well the Beavers and Devils would lose by double figures and Cal needed a late three to beat the Gael’s at home. Oregon took a road loss (but outscored the Broncos in the second half!) and Utah’s return trip to Wichita wasn’t victorious (led for all of 28-seconds). Meanwhile the Bruins continue to win the tougher parts of their schedule (Got them Zags!). The weekend wasn’t quite this:
I watched the Cal-Arizona game Sunday afternoon. Had the full braintrust there, Wildcats galore for the first viewing at my buddy’s new apartment. I left unsatisfied with Arizona’s effort and upset the Cats wouldn’t be a top-3 team heading to Boulder for their big rematch there. And in the time it took to walk the street and hail a cab home, Allen Crabbe hit four more shots. The dude couldn’t miss and it got me to thinking that maybe that was the best performance of the season. He missed four shots all night in dropping 31/7/5 in the road upset. Performance of the year.
And then Spencer Dinwiddie went ahead and missed zero shots all night en rout to a road win and 24/3/4 making it remarkably difficult to choose the performer of the night. It certainly wasn’t last night’s GIRLS and I missed the Grammy’s.
My roommate and I instead hammered out the original Jurassic Park and so my final answer for top performance Sunday goes to Goldblum.
Leader in the Clubhouse: Can I pass on this one? There are eight teams within two games of the conference lead.Parity? Competition? Mediocrity? All of the above? I don’t have this answer because it appears everyone is doing there best not to lead here; what with Oregon’s three game skid and the Wildcats’ hiccup against Cal and UCLA’s whatevering and Stanford’s roller coaster, etc. But this is sport and so there must be a top team and I choose Oregon. They’re a good team with a broken PG who should be returning soon. Like getting that extra arm at the trading deadline, the Ducks will get the extra bump they need as we near season’s end. Sure they have their issues, but their three game skid has been negated and they maintain, A) The simplest schedule B) Tiebreakers against both Arizona and UCLA. But there’s still a whole lotta season left…
Biggest Loser: The Huskies entered conference play with little expectations and then quickly jumped out into first place with a nice little 4-0 start. I was excited and impressed. Well they’ve since lost six of seven and this weekend pretty much sealed their fate. Nail. Coffin. They managed to be competitive in Pauley and then things just fell apart in the Galen Center. I wanted to watch the latter of these games but FSN is maybe the most unaccessible network out there. I managed to get a few updates via gchat from someone in Israel who was getting the game fed to him via Skype call. Woof.
What We Learned: This college basketball season is going to shock us. It’s going to wow us and surprise us and challenge us and have us shaking our heads to the point our necks hurt. But that’s why we love it. That semblance of hope that indeed anything can happen and that no matter how accurate Ken Pomeroy or Nate Silver or your gut is, this game will no doubt shock you. Kansas at TCU? Arkansas over Florida? Cal toppling Arizona? USC flirting with contention? If there was anything we learned this week – from the greater landscape to our Pac-12 backyard – competition reigns supreme. There may not be an elite power, a blow away team that tramples through the season like I just took down my $17 Chinese food delivery. No, we learned this week that perhaps no one is quite great. But the season is.
The YouTuber: I’m heading to Colorado this week to see my Cats in the Keg and I ask you, Colorado…