Even though the higher seeds all won in the first round of the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament yesterday, there was still plenty of entertainment to be had at KeyArena. The day started out with seventh-seeded USC taking down 10th-seeded Oregon State 64-57, and afterwards, there was a pretty good celebration for the Women of Troy in the locker room and hallway. The Men of Troy got in on the fun, too, as the Can- to Cantus were still in town after having played at Washington the night before.
The next matchup felt more like a three-point contest, as the Utes shot past Arizona, knocking off the 11th-seeded Wildcats 66-48. How about this- the Fighting Levretses hit 11 of 13 three-point attempts in the first half (that’s 85 percent, which is really, really, really, really good).
The Cougars scored just 13 points in the first half. So they must have been done against Arizona State, right? Wrong; the Cougs got past the Forks 48-41 thanks to a gritty defensive performance and much better second-half shooting. And oh yeah, they did it all without head coach June Daugherty, who was hospitalized prior to the game with acute appendicitis. Her husband Mike did a heck of a job, but he’d love for June to come back for tonight’s tilt against Stanford so he can finish his head coaching career undefeated.
The nightcap was certainly a doozy. The 12th-seeded Ducks had the look of anything but a last-place team in the first half, and if Bill Walton were watching the game, he probably would have been wondering if the Ducks were ever going to miss another three-pointer. But Oregon’s 22-point lead didn’t hold, and it turned out to be a historic rally for the Washington women (the Huskies had never come back from a deficit that big before). San Jose native Jazmine Davis led the way with a game-high 28 points.
One team you didn’t see last night but should definitely keep an eye out for are the second-seeded Golden Bears. Lindsay Gottlieb’s club will take on USC in the first game today, and the Cal women have big dreams beyond the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament- like getting to New Orleans.
Another team that didn’t play last night and certainly has the look of a contender is third-seeded UCLA, and the Bruins will be taking on Utah in their quarterfinal matchup. Here are your UCLA women’s basketball game notes, and keep an eye on Markel Walker, who is one of the craftiest players in all of college basketball.
Oh yeah, there were a couple of men’s games on the ledger last night. André Roberson wasn’t available for the Buffs due to a viral illness, but it was no Roberson, no problem for Colorado as the Buffs routed No. 19 Oregon 76-53. The win gives Colorado a regular season sweep of the Quacks and likely puts them safely in line for an at-large bid.
A win in Boulder would have given the Ducks at least a share of the Pac-12 regular season title, but now the Ducks will have to settle it on Saturday in Salt Lake City.
Not a good day for fans of collegiate basketball in Corvallis. The women’s team lost in the first round of the tournament, and the Oregon State men lost their fifth straight after falling to Utah. But turn that frown upside down, Beaver fan, because Oregon State wrestling is hoping to carry momentum over to NCAAs after winning their second straight Pac-12 championship.
The Stanford men’s basketball team has nothing to do besides practice until the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament after concluding its regular season slate Wednesday night in Berkeley. In case you forgot (but you probably didn’t), there was a little skirmish at the end of that game, and Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo! Sports believes that the ejections after the Stanford-Cal fight highlight a need for a rules change.
Let’s end this roundup with the all-important Arizona-Arizona State battle Saturday afternoon. It will be Senior Day in Tucson, but Arizona seniors Solomon Hill and Kevin Parrom are not done yet.
The Sun Devils aspire to play the role of party crashers tomorrow, especially Jahii Carson, who wants to beat Arizona and leave a legacy.