The Pac-12 went 1-1 on the bowling weekend, so let’s start with the good news: Arizona State took care of business in 62-28 fashion over Navy in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. The quiet Marion Grice answered with quite the performance for Arizona State, taking home Offensive MVP honors for the game. The impressive romp inspires hope for the future, writes Dan Bickley, while Fox Sports Arizona gives us the lessons learned from the win and what’s ahead for the Sun Devils. Nice way to finish the season at 8-5, fellas.
And now the bad news: Oregon State was ahead for just about the whole Alamo Bowl, but couldn’t hold a 10-point fourth-quarter lead to drop 31-27 to Texas, a result that made the Alamo one to forget for Oregon State. Just call it a downer of a Saturday for the Beavers, as the men’s basketball team also lost a second half double-digit lead in an excruciating loss to Towson at home.
That leaves Troy with the task of evening up the Pac-12′s bowl record at 3-3, as the Trojans get ready to take on Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl today at 11:00 a.m. PT. It’s easy to see from their contrasting offenses that USC and Georgia Tech have taken different approaches to reaching the Sun Bowl this year. In a column I can only assume is good since I ran out of my free article limit (again) on the LA Times website, Matt Barkley does it right while college football gets it wrong. [Editor's note: It is a good column. Solid reporting, Danna.]
Alright, women’s basketball talk now, and it starts off on a sour note: No. 1 Stanford was handily beat by No. 2 UConn, 61-35. The Huskies played tremendous basketball and never let the Cardinal have a glimmer of hope. Plenty of hope for the football team, though: The Rose Bowl is tomorrow, and history favors Stanford in a close one.
So raise your hand if you picked Colorado to be the last remaining undefeated team in Pac-12 women’s hoops. Linda Lappe had the Buffs rolling through the non-conference slate, which came to a perfect close partly in thanks to Lexy Kresl finding her shooting rhythm in an 84-39 win over New Mexico. Kresl was 7-8 from the floor, including 5-5 from deep – that’s what we call in the business “getting back on track.”
Utah women’s hoops’ non-league slate ended with a loss at home to North Dakota this past weekend. Now the 9-2 Utes have to embrace a tough start to the Pac-12 schedule that sees them play three ranked teams (Cal, Stanford and Colorado twice). Come out of that 2-2, and Levrets’ team will turn some heads.
The men’s basketball weekend was highlighted on Friday night with UCLA’s defeat of then-No. 7 Missouri in overtime. Shabazz Muhammad hit a three late in OT to give the Bruins the lead for good. UCLA is really starting to roll at just the right time – entering league play.
Lorenzo Romar and Friends lost to UConn in the battle of the Huskies, and cold shooting on a cold night doomed UW in the 61-53 loss.
Cal lost to Harvard, 67-62, on the men’s basketball side despite an impressive stat line from Allen Crabbe (27 points, seven rebounds).
Washington State has won four straight games now in men’s hoops after winning by 35 in its last game, a contest that saw the Cougars take lowly Idaho State to school.
Fox Sports Arizona is counting down the top 10 sports stories in Arizona in 2012, and No. 3 happens to be Arizona winning the College World Series in baseball. Relive it here!
Let’s make our last link of 2012 a Fiesta Bowl preview, shall we? Aaron Fentress of the Oregonian and the Wichita Eagle continue their coverage of the game with an article on Oregon’s defensive backs vs. Kansas State’s wide receivers.
Happy 2013, everyone!