Roundup: Oregon shocks Duke, Kelsey Plum sets another record
Well, well, well. The Pac-12 has been the best women’s basketball conference all season for a reason, and it showed in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, as five Pac-12 women’s hoops teams are on to the Sweet 16. Let’s start with upstart Oregon, who upset second-seeded Duke on their home court and played with the poise of a heavy favorite. Talking about his team’s Cinderella run to the Sweet 16, Oregon coach Kelly Graves says his young team doesn’t “know any better.” Andrew Nemec of The Oregonian/OregonLive has more details. Props to the Ducks for reaching their first-ever Sweet 16.
By scoring 38 points (to go with 11 assists) in the Huskies’ 108-82 win over Oklahoma in an NCAA second-round game Monday night in Seattle, Washington guard Kelsey Plum set the NCAA single-season scoring record. She now has 1,080 points on the 2016-17 campaign, surpassing Jackie Stiles’ 1,062.
Check out the Associated Press recap of Stanford blowing out Kansas State 69-48 in Manhattan, Kansas, because the Pac-12 Gymnastics Championships were held at Maples Pavilion. Brittany McPhee had 21 to pace the Fighting VanDerveers.
Robert Morales of the Long Beach Press-Telegram has the rundown of UCLA dominating Texas A&M 75-43, leading by as many as 37 points in the game. Up next? Big, bad UConn.
Unfortunately the Golden Bears weren’t able to join the teams above in the Sweet 16, as Cal lost to top-seeded Baylor 86-46.
Zach Helfand writes about the NBA Draft decisions many USC players are facing this offseason. If the Trojans bring back guys like Chimezie Metu and Bennie Boatwright, the Trojans could contend for a conference title.
Jeff Eisenberg believes that Rawle Alkins has “sparked” Arizona with his tough-minded play and desire to win. Good background story on how the New York kid landed in Tucson as well.
Oregon State’s Cadyn Grenier and Jake Thompson were named Pac-12 Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, as those two helped lead the Beavs to a sweep of Arizona State in the opening weekend of conference play.
With Oregon State’s Kaytianna McMillan being named Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year and UCLA’s Kyla Ross getting the nod for Freshman of the Year, Kurt Kragthorpe of The Salt Lake Tribune opines that Utah gymnast MyKayla Skinner deserved more recognition from the Pac-12. After all, Skinner won the Pac-12 all-around title in helping the Red Rocks to the Pac-12 team championship.
Brian Howell tells us all about a new law that enables Colorado to offer more multi-year contracts to coaches. On Monday, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed Senate bill 17-041, which will make “employee positions in self-funded auxiliaries, such as athletics, exempt from legislation” that limits in-state schools in Colorado to six multi-year contracts per campus, capped at five years in length.
Former Michigan linebacker Joe Bolden is joining the Washington State football coaching staff, CougCenter notes. Bolden was an All-Big Ten Freshman selection in 2012 and an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention honoree as a senior.
Calvin Watkins of ESPN believes that James Harden showed why he should be the NBA MVP in the Houston Rockets’ win over Denver Monday night, going for 39 points (including the game-winning layup), seven boards and 11 assists. And oh yeah, he also hasn’t sat out a game for rest this year.