Roundup: Higher tourney seeds prevail
It was an all-chalk kinda Wednesday for the first round of the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament, and it started off with a 67-61 Utah triumph over the Huskies. With that in the rear view, Larry Krystkowiak is digging the underdog role and looking forward to the Arizona matchup at noon PT Thursday (Pac-12 Networks for your viewing pleasure).
After the loss, the Huskies are sitting on the NIT bubble. You’d think that a 9-9 Pac-12 record would be good enough, but Washington didn’t do a whole lot of good in the non-conference portion of its schedule.
Here’s Brian Howell’s breakdown from Askia Booker leading the Buffs in the Pac-12 opener over USC, 59-56. Now the Buffs get a rematch with Cal (2:30 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Networks), having lost on Saturday to the Golden Bears in OT.
Altman’s crew was able to win the Civil War 88-74 in large thanks to Oregon’s bench, led by Dominic Artis and its defense (the Ducks’ bench outscored the Beavs’ reserves 46-6). Now we get a UCLA-Oregon quarterfinal matchup at 6 p.m. PT on the Pac-12 Networks.
On the Beavers side of things, nagging problems vexed Oregon State again, writes Connor Letourneau. Fifteen turnovers and a couple of big Oregon runs did the Beavs in.
No. 2 seed UCLA has played a couple of tight ones with the Ducks, and it’s good to have a guy like Kyle Anderson who doesn’t lack confidence or intensity on your side in games like these.
Washington State would not go down easy for Stanford, but the Cardinal knocked off the 11th-seeded Cougars 74-63 to get its 20th win of the season. After the game, Johnny Dawkins talked about his team being battle-tested. Also, Jeff Eisenberg tells us that Dawkins insists he feels no pressure despite the mandate to land an NCAA bid, and he showed his usual poise again Wednesday night.
So now Stanford moves on to face third-seeded Arizona State (8:30 p.m., FOX Sports 1), and the Cardinal knows all too well that Jahii Carson has shined in Vegas. He’s averaging more than 28 points per contest in five career games in Sin City and put up 34 on Stanford in last year’s Pac-12 tourney.
Avinash Kunnath of California Golden Blogs breaks down how Cal can work its way back into the tourney. Of course, beating Colorado would significantly help the cause.
Let’s take a look at this Sporting News article on Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, whose love for his family is the key to his success at Arizona.
The following is a recap of USC’s pro day from Scott Wolf, and he writes that Marquise Lee gave himself high marks for pro day – but not too high. Could have done a lil’ better on the bench press.
Nothin’ better than this week in Cougar athletics, ain’t that right?