Things got really serious, really quick. The Pac-12 was poised for a spectacular season from the likes of Arizona, Colorado, Oregon and UCLA. This weekend has changed that, slightly. Slightly, a lot. Where to begin?
First, The Good News
UCLA fans, it looks like your Bruins are a close second behind conference leading Arizona. If you did not see the Wildcats play the Bruins, you missed out. Get DVR and record that next time.
This was a recent classic that had everyone on the edge of their seat going into the final minute of play. Arizona had big leads at times, but after each body blow, UCLA countered with one of their own and was able to stay in the game. They also just defeated a decent Arizona State team. Clearly, the Bruins are right their at the top of the Pac-12.
The Very Bad News
Colorado point guard Spencer Dinwiddie is out for the Buffalo after an apparent knee injury. Some of you may be saying that is good news, I assure you, it is not. If the Pac-12 does not have elite players playing, they will not be an elite conference. Dinwiddie’s loss is the entire Pac-12’s loss. A speedy recovery to him.
My gut is not good. But we’ll see. If he’s out, he’s out.” –Colorado Head Coach Tad Boyle
So where does that leave Colorado? Obviously, not in a good position. Although they play at home this week, it is against UCLA and USC. The Buffs really need to step up and ride the wave of Dinwiddie’s absence. If not, it may be another year in the middle of the Pac.
The Not Quite Sure What To Make Of This News
The Oregon Ducks have lost three in a row? That’s quacked up.
What happened to this team? The Pac-12 happened. Equally talented (kind of) competition was something the Ducks were not ready for coming into Pac-12 play, especially with their defense. The Ducks are 298 out of 351 in scoring defense, allowing 77.7 points per game (source: TeamRankings.com). Ouch. No bueno.
So they have their rivalry game against Oregon State next and if they have trouble with them, head coach Dana Altman might need to re-evaluate his entire strategy to basketball along with his entire outlook on life.
The “What About Us” News
What about Cal and Stanford? They are mixing it up for a shot at the top as well. They took out Oregon, but lost to Oregon State and Cal… and what about Cal?
You know, the 12-4, 3-0 California Golden Bears who also participated in Oregon’s three-game skid with a 96-83 smacking of their own. They are a fun bunch to watch, I would say. Mike Montgomery has the Bears believing in what he is selling and it is working. I would peg them as the third best team in the Pac-12 right now. Yeah, I wrote it.
So here is what is happening this week:
The Washington schools head to the Bay Area.
The LA schools travel to the mountains to face Colorado and Utah.
ASU rumbles with Arizona in Tucson.
Oregon will try not to stumble in and out of Corvallis against Oregon State.