Friday, March 07, 2008

The Good, Bad, and the Ugly

The good

Nic Wise is back and healthy. I'll admit I was skeptical of him coming back this season because frankly, Arizona and many other schools haven't been the most honest about injuries.
But Wise not only came back, he played 34 minutes, scoring 15 points and dishing out six assists.
That's more points than his replacements have scored in the past seven games.
A blowout win over a team you're supposed to blow out is also a good sign.
The best of the good is that this win seals a date to the dance for the Wildcats. That's right, losses to Oregon and a first round exit from the Pac-10 Tournament won't curtail Arizona chances. It would just put them at an No.11 or No. 12 seed. But contrary to what some may think, Arizona, with it's No. 1 SOS is firmly entrenched in the NCAA Tournament.

The Bad
The heading could be retitled "The Oregon State." The Beavers are worse than bad. They might be the worst team in the history of the Pac-10, and will most likely become the first team in Pac-10 history to go 0-18, barring an epic upset over ASU.
So for Arizona, a win over a horrible team doesn't really prove anything. Sure it was a good opportunity to slide Nic Wise back into the lineup without any pressure, but the Wildcats didn't look all that good for the first 10 minutes.

They had seven turnovers in the first six minutes and trailed through the first nine minutes. The bench still gave close to nothing, eight points on 4-11 of shooting despite playing 49 minutes.

The Ugly

I thought there weren't a lot of fans in my trip to Corvallis last season. Boy, was I wrong. The front row was empty. Dave Sitton and Bob Elliott continually chattered about the crowd instead of focusing on the game. You could hear several fans in the student section yelling "Jordan you suck" and Chase, shoot the ball," to the point where Hill and Wise were laughing on the court. CSUN basketball has better attendance, and they seat just 1600 in the Matadome.
The announced attendance was 4,386, but there wasn't close to that many people in their seats. Some of the missing probably had good reason.
The Beavers start three players who average 4.6, 2.9 and 0.8 points per game. That's a complete embarrassment to the Pac-10.
If a team fails to win a conference game, it should be demoted to a lower conference, kind of like what they do in European soccer. So the Big West would get Oregon State and the Pac-10 could get the winner of the Big West, possible CSUN. Wait, that's a bad idea.
How about the Pac-10 just goes with nine teams so Oregon State doesn't ruin everyone's RPI.

If a first place contest in the Pac-10 occurs and Tony Kornheiser is sleeping, did the game really happen?

The Stanford/UCLA game started at 11 p.m. on the East Coast. For those sleepy eyes still watching at the end of regulation, that block on Darren Collison probably looked like a foul. Maybe the referees were still on East Coast time.

Check back soon for my Pac-10 Awards

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