Roundup: Defense kicking in for Colorado
If you watched Colorado’s 59-56 victory over Cal Thursday afternoon, then you know that defense is kicking in for the Buffs. The Golden Bears had multiple chances to tie or take the lead, but the Buffs held strong on the defensive end each time. Now the Buffs are eager for another shot at Arizona, their semifinal opponent at 6 p.m. PT on the Pac-12 Networks. By the way, two straight 59-56 victories in the Pac-12 Tournament for Colorado, and its third 59-56 win in the last four games. Ain’t that a co-inky-dink, huh?
Arizona made a strong case for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament with a 71-39 pasting of eighth-seeded Utah, and it was a game in which Arizona rode Sean Miller’s adjustments. Heck of a defensive performance from the Cats on Thursday.
Always tough to be on the wrong end of a blowout, but now the Utes expect to play in the NIT. Larry Krystkowiak being on the verge of taking Utah to the NIT in his third year is one of the best coaching jobs going in America.
It was mostly good for UCLA in its rout of Oregon if you ask Chris Foster of the L.A. Times. The Bru Cru couldn’t miss, shooting 57 percent in the 82-63 victory over the Ducks. Also, Bill Plaschke writes that Bruins players took their coaches’ advice and enjoyed themselves on the court.
While the East Coast was sleeping, Stanford routed Arizona State 79-58. If Wednesday's opening round win over Washington State didn’t lock up an at-large bid for the Dawkins Gang, Thursday night’s triumph over the third-seeded Forks almost certainly did. Bruins and Card at 8:30 p.m. on FOX Sports 1 for the opportunity to play Saturday.
Now the Sun Devils await their NCAA fate, though it still looks pretty good for them.
Projections are split with respect to Washington men’s hoops and the NIT, reports Percy Allen.
In other sports news, it was pro day in Eugene for the Ducks on Thursday, and pro day is the first and only chance to leave an impression for some Oregon Ducks like Avery Patterson who didn’t get a combine invite.
In other football news, Oregon State linebacker Michael Doctor has been granted a fifth year of eligibility.
Here’s a feature from the esteemed Elliott Almond on Cal swimmer Missy Franklin not being exempt from the pressures of being a college freshman. Doesn’t matter how many gold medals you win; those midterms can be scary no matter what.
While conference play is coming to an end with the Pac-12 Tournament in men’s hoops, conference play is just beginning in baseball, and the Cougars are in Tucson for the Pac-12 opener.
Here are some USC football practice highlights courtesy of Scott Wolf.