Monday, March 19, 2007


The Pac-10 has three teams in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2002. Good for the conference, and good for Cal. Conference success = more pressure on Sandy to take this program to the next level. On a related note, I want to hire Tim Floyd.

Of the three conference rivals, UCLA's got the clearest path to the Final Four. They looked like hell on offense against Indiana, but Pitt doesn't have the back court to compete with Collison and Afflalo. When Afflalo attacks the basket, UCLA is the best team in the country. When he's passive or not in rhythm, they can lose to Cal. I'm guessing that Howland reminds him of this fact between now and Thursday.

Oregon's interesting - UNLV is a fine team who plays good defense, but I think Oregon plays at a different athletic level than the Rebs. Florida looms in the Elite 8. If you believe Ernie Kent (which is a hard thing to do) the Ducks have used five different base defenses in the last seven games. Against the Gators they would need to revisit the one they used against Arizona in the Pac-10 tournament. In that 69-50 win, the Ducks collapsed on Radenovic and Hill and denied the easy entry pass. Noah and Horford would be a tougher match up, but the same principle applies - if Florida's bigs get the ball deep in the paint, game over.

USC has the toughest road to hoe, but then no one looked better than the Trojans in the second round. Would love to see them knock off Taylor Hansborough and Carolina, but something tells me UNC is going to get out on SC's shooters a little bit better than Texas did. One question - where was that Daniel Hackett all year? Bruins Nation isn't in their corner, and we won't be either after the next round. SC in the Final Four would be a bit too much to bear.

Michigan canned Tommy Amaker, so the Duke Assistant Coaching curse continues. Ben Braun was named in one story as a potential replacement - kudos to Ben's agent. He's got a slightly better chance of landing that job than I do.

Tony Bennett is a candidate for every coaching vacancy in America. I don't think writers even fact-check it - they just assume that any right-thinking individual would want to leave Pullman at the first opportunity. I suspect he'll stay.

Reason #156 that MGoBlog is the best team blog in the land: this wicked cool 3rd down efficiency chart. We'll have more on Cal's #s later this week.

The naked protest at the Oaks got national publicity, and the good folks at EDSBS found an unlikely political appointee among the rabble. San Diego newsreaders balefully shook their heads when reading the item as Tightwad hurled everything within reach at the TV. Oh, if only Berkeley were not a hermetically-sealed bubble of liberal anachronism. We might actually get something done once in a while.


At 12:20 PM, Anonymous SoCal Oski said...

I'm totally behind the Pac-10 schools in the tourney this year, as every year, just because of regional pride. The fact that it reflects well on the conference and should indirectly help Cal is a big part of it as well.

Just the idea that almost half the final 8 teams could be from the Pac is great. As is the thought of a Fucla - $C rematch.

And, I have to say, the trojies looked pretty damned impressive against the Texasholes. If I were a babybruin fan, or one of the frothing-at-the-mouth bn fanatics, I'd be a little nervous at a rematch. While Fucla can play like the best team in the country, they can also kind of disappear. If nothing else, such a rematch would have pretty much everyone around the country pulling for $C, just as the underdog.

All in all, good times.

Go Bears!

At 4:03 PM, Blogger Pete Morris said...

Didn't the Pac put 4 teams into the round of 16 during the 90s, with the Cal team featuring Tony Gonzalez being one of them? And if memory serves me correctly, that was also the year in which a lowly-regarded UofA team won it all.

Beside nostalgia, I bring this up because I'm not sure any of it will really change people's opinions across the country of West Coast basketball. That would take something like the coup the Big East pulled off in the 80s, with 3 out of the last four and both finalists (Villanova over Georgetown). Still, it's nice to see the Pac doing relatively well, and with teams other than Arizona and Stanford leading the way. It's even nicer to read on Jay Heater's blog of Zack Follett tearing up spring practice, but that's a topic for another post, and I suppose, another season.

At 4:57 PM, Anonymous bear in bear out said...

please i chose fucla 2 win it all in my brackets but i still want them 2 lose.

At 5:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i picked the tree sitters in my bracket and i think they will win it all. they have a great team led by all star zach runningwolfe among others. i think they will win it all.

At 10:17 PM, Anonymous annohemoss said...

basketball was invented by native americans. so runningwolfe can play.

At 8:43 AM, Anonymous I LOVE THE WOLF! said...

Yeah it was! He also invented the bicycle so he can ride his bike everywhere. we need to STOP driving, according to the wolf man. wolfy man is soooooo coooool. i saw him at the naked photo shoot, ah man, sooooooooooo hooooooooot babbbbbby!

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