It appears that we received some clarity in the PAC 10 picture last night. Posuers were identified and challengers stood up to be accounted for. The Pac 10 now appears to be a three team race and that's the same amount of bids that the league can expect, lacking any surprises in the conference tournament. Three shall be the number and that number should be henceforth engraved in stone at least until the games this weekend.... so what happened?
Well Stanford happened. That Stanford happened to drive a two foot dagger into the tournament hopes of Wazzu was a bit of a surprise. Wazzu had just climbed their way back into the race and had hoped to become a factor down the stretch and then Jeremy Green walked into town, stole the hearts of the prettiest girls, robbed the bank and poisoned the well. We won't know if he also burned theonly bridge into Pullman until someone restores the telegraph into town. His 24 point bomb on Cougars was daunting in that he only took nine shots, but five of them were threes and he made every one of them. He was also perfect from the free throw line and punked Klay Thompson in his own crib. I wouldn't have been surprised if Green also made off with his DVD collection. If Wazzu wants to think about being in the big dance, they are going to have to right the ship quite smartly else their aspirations will dry up like so many tumbleweeds rolling down the street.
UDub rebounded to their recent exile out of the top 25 by manhandling Cal at home. This game may as well been done at halftime as the Huskies racked up a 24 point lead by the break and dropping 58 on the Baby Bears. The carnage continued well into the 2nd half as Lorenzo's lads continue to deprive the Bears of any notion of coming back. The Huskies had six players in double digit scoring for the game and about the only person who didn't score was the guy handling the clock, because he had to stay put and compile all the stats.
The Bruins had their hands full with the resurgent Ducks last night. Oregon went into the half with the lead and didn't relinquish it until there were just under 9 minutes left in the game. Malcolm Lee carried the Bruins on his back as the Bruins gutted this one out and managed to keep the Ducks at bay. No idea what happened to the UCLA inside game as Nelson, Honeycutt and Smith only combined for 19 points in what had to have been an ugly game just based on the shooting percentages from the field and the line. Grinding out tough ones are what separates contenders from posuers (Looking at you Wazzu).
USC got out to an early lead on the hapless Beavers and held on in another ugly affair in the City of Angels. Both teams struggled from the field with the Trojans coming out ahead by being better from beyond the arc and at the stripe. Nikola Vucevic continued to make his case for being first team Pac 10 honors with another double double (17-10) as one of the lone bright spots in an ugly affair. Perhaps I am being unkind, but when both teams struggle to shoot 40% from the field, I usually don't think of defense, I think of ugly when it comes to a fans' perspective.
Pac 10 standings (as of last night results)