Roundup: The Finale in the Valley is here
The Finale in the Valley is finally here. Oregon. Arizona. Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. Kickoff at 6 p.m. PT/7 p.m. MT on FOX. Here’s a Pac-12 Football Championship Game preview courtesy of our own Alex Espinoza (who's a Sun Devil grad; sorry about last Friday, bro). Can’t wait like Bart Scott.
On the Ducks’ side of things, Chantel Jennings writes that Oregon’s defense is eager to show it has improved since the last meeting against the Wildcats, a loss in which the Ducks surrendered nearly 500 yards of total offense to Anu Solomon and Co.
Meanwhile, the venerable Anthony Gimino gives us Arizona’s blueprint to beat Oregon, and how it is different from the one Stanford used to knock off the Quacks in 2012 and 2013. Who do ya got?
Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports writes that Oregon State-turned-Nebraska head coach Mike Riley will need to recruit better than his predecessor Bo Pelini to be successful at Nebraska. We already know he can coach like a boss, but what kind of studs can he haul in with Nebraska’s backing?
Jacob Thorpe gives us an update in Washington State football’s search for a defensive coordinator. Manny Diaz and Clancy Pendergast are intriguing names.
With the New Orleans Pelicans in town to play the Golden State Warriors Thursday night, former Cal basketball star Ryan Anderson was in Berkeley to watch his Golden Bears play the night before. Jeff Faraudo writes about Anderson opening up about the suicide of his late girlfriend Gia Allemand. I also suggest you read the Sports Illustrated feature on Ryan Anderson and Allemand from a few weeks back, written by Chris Ballard.
This is a couple of days old now, but Utah basketball forward Jordan Loveridge is out for at least a month after having knee surgery.
Props to Arizona State women’s volleyball for winning its NCAA tournament first-round match against Texas A&M in four sets, winning the last three sets after dropping the first. Macey Gardner had 24 kills to lead the way.
While we’re on the women’s volleyball beat, Washington gets its tournament run under way Friday against New Hampshire, and Mason Kelley of GoHuskies.com writes that senior Krista Vansant can’t wait for the tournament to get here.
Stanford women’s soccer takes on Florida State Friday in the College Cup semifinals (4:30 p.m. PT, ESPNU), and Tom FitzGerald features Stanford forward Taylor Uhl, who led the NCAA in scoring when she was at Minnesota in 2012. She has taken more of a back seat on The Farm but has still been very helpful to the Paul Ratcliffe cause (10 goals in her last 10 games isn’t anything to scoff at).
UCLA men’s soccer plays North Carolina in the NCAA quarterfinals Saturday at 5 p.m. PT on the Pac-12 Networks, so I urge you to check it out.
Jovan Vavic is at it again – USC men’s water polo will face Stanford Saturday in an NCAA semifinal with hopes of eventually winning its seventh consecutive national championship (approximately 3:10 p.m. PT, live stream here). Believe it or not, the Trojans are actually underdogs in this matchup as the No. 3 seed and Stanford seeded second.
During the long offseason ahead, Colorado football needs to fix its defensive issues, pens Tom Kensler of The Denver Post.