It was one of those times you chalk something up to both extreme ineptitude and brilliance. I suppose. Whatever it was, it was nearly historic.
The Arizona Wildcats took a 60-25 win against the Washington State Cougars on Thursday in McKale Center and if it weren't for garbage time, Wazzu would have been staring the nasty part of record-setting straight in the face. In the final 1:03, WSU eclipsed the 20-point mark, which would have set an NCAA record for lowest-scoring game. Ever. Arizona led 52-17 by the time the second unit exited with less than four minutes to play, and by that point had only given up six field goals.
The Cougars finished shooting 20 percent and hitting a McKale Center low nine field goals. They went 2-of-12 from three-point range and couldn't even hit their foul shots, going 5-for-13 there.
The weird part? It felt like Arizona was playing Cougar basketball. The Wildcats shot a reasonable 44 percent, missed a third of their 24 free throws and got caught up in a slow-paced affair. Kaleb Tarczewski returned from an ankle sprain suffered against Michigan to become the only double-digit scorer in the outing by scoring 11.
Enough delving into the weird numbers and wondering whether this was the largest margin of victory for a team that only scored 60 points -- or vice versa. Was it was the smallest margin of victory for a team that scored, say, less than 30?
What's to take from the game?
Washington State certainly wasn't at its best, but even had guard DaVonte Lacy been available and not out after undergoing an appendectomy, it's hard to see how much closer the game would have been. The Cougars' shot attempts weren't just altered by Arizona's size but thrown completely off course. The story of the game was simple -- the Cougars had no way of getting the ball into the hoop.
The Cougs came in ranked 263rd in the nation by averaging 0.47 assists per field goals made, a decent stat to measure ball movement. That was about the only way WSU got buckets on Thursday, scoring nine field goals on six total assists.
The Wildcats will have a tougher out against the Huskies on the backend of a visit from the Washington schools. Lorenzo Romar's team looked hungry in beating up the Sun Devils in Tempe on Thursday. For the Wildcats, it's a wonder if the blowout might actually get to their heads more than help them in any way.
It's hard to say there was anything other than jokes and cringes that came out of such a win.
Funnily, Arizona is actually over 1 PPP in this one because of the awesomeness of Wazzu's tempo.— Andy Glockner (@AndyGlockner) January 3, 2014
Arizona 45, Pullman Baptist 14, 7:54 left 2H— Andy Glockner (@AndyGlockner) January 3, 2014
Washington State hit a dozen points and we're almost midway through the second half. Arizona's defense is terrific, but seriously …— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) January 3, 2014
Arizona unveiling new scoreboard tonight. We still don't know if more than 1 digit on visitor's side works correctly: http://t.co/o3AFHCf3QM— CBSSports.com (@CBSSports) January 3, 2014
Big lead for Arizona football over Washington State, 28-7 at the half. Nick Johnson with a touchdown run, McConnell two TD passes to Gordon.— Jonathan Gold (@TheCoolSub) January 3, 2014
Just think: If you got 1 point for hitting rim in basketball, Cougars would still be losing by ... 20...— AZ Desert Swarm (@azdesertswarm) January 3, 2014