Because I don't think Georgia and Stanford will be wishing me good tidings anytime soon.
The last two teams I wrote about, glowing praise for the Cardinal in my December Review, and talking about Georgia like they were the next big thing in the SEC, brought nothing but pain and suffering for each team.
UCLA lost back-to-back games to Pepperdine and Idaho State - Pepperdine is 5-8 and they blew the Bruins out - and now, just over a month later, have the opportunity to beat back-to-back Top 10 teams when No. 10 Cal invades Westwood.
When sitting around with friends and family, women's basketball is not usually the preferred choice of television program.
Last night it was.
Saturday's epic overtime battle between No. 1 Tennessee and No. 5 Stanford was so good, so intense, that I personally know two people who never before watched women's basketball, but tuned in to see this one's incredible ending.
I'm beginning to wonder whether or not the Arizona State Sun Devils actually sold their souls to the devil that resides in Hades. Something has to explain why the voters of both the AP and coaches polls refuse to drop the 6-4 team from its rankings.
I know people were high on this team before the season - many E-mailed to tell me of my egregious error in not including them in CSTV.com's Great Eight - but starting out at No. 12 was way too high a ranking for this group.
Their current ranking of No. 22 isn't warranted either. And the Coaches have them at No. 21 - how is this possible?
The Associated Press and Coaches Polls have been released, meaning another week of musical chairs among the Top 10 and bottom portion of the Top 25.
With all the nation's elite squads beating up on each other in big preseason battles, and all the bottom-Top-25 teams proving they don't belong ranked at all, there has certainly been a lot of turnover in the early season.
As always, I have some bones to pick with the voters. And the Maryland Terrapins should too.
Wow! Stanford was very impressive in their opening victory over Yale Friday.
The first ranked team to play, the No. 7 Cardinal destroyed the Bulldogs 100-44 in New Haven, Conn.
And they did all that while only getting eight points, three rebounds and an assist from Candice Wiggins in just 11 minutes of action. The Cardinal didn't need her, they are saving her for No. 3 Rutgers on Sunday.
The fat lady has sung her last note and after four days of calling courtside at the HP Pavilion my new home, there's no more women's basketball to be played within the Pac-10 conference this year.
Four teams, maybe five, will advance to the NCAA Tournament that starts in two weeks.
Stanford, who is hosting a first and second round site, may be untouchable when it comes down to it. They are athletic, play fundamentally sound basketball and even when Candice Wiggins is only playing at 85%, she is still unstoppable.
ASU may be the runner up, but they will give teams in the NCAA tournament a run for their money with a scrappy group of players who never quit.
Cal goes into the tournament with the leadership of the Pac-10 Player of the Year in Devanei Hampton and their other presence in the paint, Ashley Walker, who gives other teams a fit on the boards.
Lastly, Washington will use the frustration of getting knocked out of the Pac-10 tournament to hopefully knock out a few teams from the East.
The only question is when it comes to the fifth team from the Pac-10 - USC. Do they have a shot at making it? I think so. Their fate is now in the hands of the selection committee, but after their performance against Washington on Saturday, hopefully they will enjoy hosting a first and second round NCAA tournament site.
There's less than three minutes on the clock, but the game ended back in the first half.
ASU just can't connect on their shots and Stanford is doing just about everything right tonight.
Kudos to ASU's Johnson for being one of the few players who succesfully blocked a Wiggns shot this weekend without getting called for the foul. I think Wiggins may have even been shocked, or deserves an Oscar for some over-acting, as she took a seat in the process.
I don't know if it is from the offensive foul that was just called against Wiggins, the three pointer by teammate Reagan Pariseau or the turnover that January just forced Wiggins to commit two feet away from me along press row, but there's a fire in that 5-foot-8 guard that will hopefully change the game.
Whatever it is, it's working for January. I have to believe that it is this same fire inside that enabled January to block a shot from Stanford's Appel. Keep in mind that Appel has an eight inch height advantage on January, so it was a huge block.
Halftime is over, and while ASU looked to start off the half promising with a quick Westerberg bucket, they are still having problems with their shooting.
The Sun Devils are trying to find their shot, but with their in ability to connect on the first try and not getting a second chance due to Stanford dominating the boards, they need to start connecting to have a chance as this lead is almost at 20.
ASU had a chance for about three minutes this half.
That's the amount of time it took for Stanford to hit their first shot.
Then, once Stanford started connecting on their shots and ASU continued to have problems making theirs, it's been all Stanford this half.
Granted Wiggins hasn't been the dominating force she was last night, but what's even worse is that the entire Stanford line-up has been en fuego.
Sure Wiggins has had to earn her current 11 points a little bit more as only three of them came from three point land, but it is Stanford's trees in the paint of 6-foot-4 Appel (11), 6-foot-1 Harmon (7) and 6-foot-3 Smith (5) that are making this game no-contest.
ASU also has balanced scoring right now with six players each having a bucket and Thompson leading the way with two buckets, but if the Sun Devils don't want to be bedeviled, their shooting percentage has to improve (currently it's a an embarrasing 28%).
ASU may not have the marquee player or the athleticism that the Stanford team has, but one thing is working in their favor - grit.
From the way they are in Stanford's face, to fighting for loose balls, forcing turnovers and the wrestling match that just took place between ASU's Johnson and Stanford's Brooke Smith at mid-court, their grit is helping them cut Stanford's lead down to three with 6:55 left in the first half.
Wiggins just picked up her first foul of the night on a drive by ASU's Jill Noe.
While the foul is not a big surprise because let's face it, everyone gets caught with their hand in the cookie jar at some point, what is surprising is the look on Wiggins face when the whistle was blown. She seemed genuinely surprised that she got a foul called against her.
Then again, this is the same player who I heard through the media mill that didn't actually think that she committed a foul during her first season at Stanford.
After eight games, it all comes down to this - No 1 seed Stanford vs. No. 2 seed ASU.
While both teams are already assured of making the NCAA tournament (Stanford is currently ranked No. 6/8 in the country while ASU is No. 8/7), this game is purely for bragging rights and another trophy to take home.
Stanford has walked away winners after both regular season games this year (77-71 and 73-65), so ASU is hoping that the third time will be the charm in beating the Cardinal this year.
The key to an upset tonight will be shutting down Stanford's Candice Wiggins (if that's possible).
Welcome to the post-game wrap up of the Candice Wiggins show.
That's right, while she is being interviewed for Fox Sports, her teammates are heading into the locker room to enjoy the 67-52 victory.
While Wiggins led all scores for Stanford, and I think every other team in every game that has been played so far in this tournament, with 29 points on 10-13 shooting that included going 8-9 from the three point arch, Kristen Newlin led the Cardinal with 10 boards. The next closest shooting performance from a Stanford player was also by Newlin who finished with 10 points.
USC's effort was led by Shay Murphy with 16 points on 6-16 shooting and followed by Chloe Kerr with 14 points.
USC didn't do enough things well tonight to get the win, but they did out rebound Stanford by a slim 41-39. Along with having Wiggins on your side, USC learned painfully that you can't win a game when you shoot 31% from the field.
So as I wrap up the blog for today while listening to the second most obnoxious band in the Pac-10, the Stanford band, I wonder if there is anyone in women's college basketball that can stop the great Ms. Wiggins. After all, she may very well be the female version of Michael Jordan in today's game.
Any of the East coast bloggers like to chime in on this one?
Good night and tune in tomorrow.
Championship game is a 7:30 pm PT - No. 1 seed Stanford vs. No. 2 seed ASU.
Stanford's starting five are all riding the pine right now, but even the second string is holding their own.
There's two minutes on the clock and USC just can't come back.
The score is 67-49 Stanford and with the blowout in place, I will have to endure even more USC teasing from my friend Pablo 'Choops' Garcia. Don't get me wrong, Pablo is a good guy, but the smarty pants went to Stanford on a full ride for his undergraduate degree and USC on a full ride for his MBA. Even though he has the USC MBA, when it comes down to it, he bleeds for the for the Cardinal.
Stay tuned, we're wrapping it up in San Jose for the day.
No, it's not Wiggins, but it was the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, Jayne Appel.
Granted Appel did not do a whole lot in this game when you look at her stats (1-2 from the free throw line and three rebounds), but she gave the USC forwards/centers enough problems to prevent them from shooting.
Meanwhile, Stanford reserve Markisha Coleman just scored and both the Stanford bench and crowd went nuts.
It's hard to believe that with 5:03 left, it's garbage time for Stanford.
I realize there is still a lot of time left, but with Stanford up 62-39, I think it's easy to predict who is going to be playing in the championship game tomorrow.
In light of this runaway score, and they are bringing out another four foot burrito to give away, here's a list of signs that you are not going to be able to beat Stanford:
- Your team is shooting 32% from the field and 25% from three point land.
- The fans from LA who came up to cheer you on have already left so they can be at the airport three hours in advance (and the airport is about 15 minutes away).
- More people are cheering for the four foot burrito than for when your team scores.
- Your players on the bench are thinking more about the burrito than the game.
- A forward/center from the other team just dribbled the ball to half court and no one challenged her.
- Candice Wiggins hits her three point shot even though it bounced off the back of the rim and got a high bounce.
- Candice Wiggins sets breaks and sets a new tournament record without breaking a sweat.
The second half has started and Wiggins is picking up where she left off.
The three pointer she just made in front of me tied the Pac-10 tournament record (6) and then her next shot broke it (7) while USC is having problems. The scary part about Wiggins' shooting is that her shots don't take a trip around the rim or need the backboard, they are all net, even when she is in NBA land.
So as the teams take a time out and USC prays for Wiggins to get cold, I have to endure one more routine from the USC Song Girls. Ugh...
First USC gets a break with a huge call against Stanford in front of the Stanford bench. This led USC's Morghan Medlock to complete a three-point play and helping USC to trim the lead Stanford has on them.
Next, my fellow CSTV.com blogger Jessica Garrison FINALLY got her good media meal. After all, she did miss the sweet tea on Friday and was forced to munch on snacks while I dined on an assortment of meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner here at the Pac-10 tournament over a span of four games yesterday.
After last night's game against Washington, I caught up a bit with USC's Jamie Funn to talk about the game. Of all the qoutes she gave me, the one that sticks out in my mind right now is how 'When it rains, it pours and sometimes, you just need to let it rain.' While last night she was referring to her own performance and her key plays towards the end of the game, I think this same statement could be applied today.
Funn is letting it rain with a new shot she has found from four feet away while Stanford's Wiggins is letting it rain with her perfect 6-6 shooting, including 5-5 from three point land.
Stanford is currently up 24-17 and if USC doesn't make some adjustments soon, Stanford may rain on their parade and run away with the game.
The second semi-final game of the Pac-10 tournament could also be billed as a rematch game of these two teams. After all, it was just a week ago on February 25 when these two teams met up here in the Bay area and Stanford squeked out a 56-53 win.
While this may be looked at a rematch, it really is not. First off, Stanford has Candice Wiggins back, enough said.
Second, USC is playing with a lot of adrenaline and heart as they want to enjoy hosting the first and second round at the Galen Center in two weeks.
Right now we are at 13:04 and Stanford has as slight edge at 16-13, but with USC currently shooting 55% compared to Stanford's 57%, hang on for the ride.
ASU vs. Cal: Winner, winner, chicken dinner and semi-final winner!
ASU lives to see another day with their final score of 60-53 against Cal.
This game was so close, where ASU's 33 rebounds was just one more than Cal's 32.
If you go by the numbers, Cal's 46% shooting should have enabled them to win. Yet with ASU (42% shooting) going a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line and 2-8 from three point land while Cal went 11-15 from the free throw line and 0-5 from the three point line, it just wasn't meant to be for the Golden Bears.
Leading the way for Cal was the Pac-10 Player of the Year Devanei Hampton with 21 points and eight rebounds.
ASU was paced by Kirsten Thompson with 14 points and Aubree Johnson with five rebounds.
The Sun Devils were very well balanced on the boards with five of their nine players finishing with at least four rebounds.
ASU moves on to tomorrow's championship game against the winner of the upcoming Stanford vs. USC game starting in less than two minutes.
Neither team is currently in the bonus, but with how the refs are now calling this game, I wouldn't be surprised if at least one team is in the bonus situation before the halfway mark of the second half.
Right now here's the top contender's for fouling out:
ASU: Emily Westerberg, Reagan Pariseau and Aubree Johnson - 3 each
Cal: Devanei Hampton - 3
The amazing thing about the foul situation is that while a lot of fouls are being called, the refs are missing some of the more obvious ones, but are calling some of the ticky-tack ones.
Stay tuned, more whistles to be blown and calls to be missed...
ASU's coach may have had the quote of the weekend yesterday. With the Pac-10 being such a tough conference full of physical teams, to survive in these games it is not just about outlasting, outwitting or outplaying. Instead, it's about out-rebounding.
I don't know when it took place, but I've noticed a lot of guards this weekend who do not follow their own shot. ASU's January is the exception. In the two times she has followed her shot just today, she has gotten her own rebound and helped ASU maintain posession.
Right now the board count is as follows:
There's less than a minute to go before the half and it looks like ASU will get the last shot after getting the defensive rebound.
Even though they didn't connect, they wouldn't have had the chance if they had not gotten the board.
This is the only way to describe the ASU style of defense.
Their triple threat positions are flawless and don't even think about picking up the dribble if you are Cal's Natasha Vital. If you do, you are most likely to find either Reagan Pariseau or Briann January from ASU in your face.
On the other hand, Cal may have just figured out what it is going to take to win this one. For the first time this game, the Golden Bears actually forced the Sun Devils to earn their first shot clock violation.
Meanwhile Cal's Greif is back on the floor and the number of ASU players who have become one with the floor is only at four.
ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne just did a mass substitution (four player swap) so ASU has some fresh legs in the game.
Cal is creeping back though as they have overcome the deficit and tied up the game.
It's still early, but ASU has gone from a 10 point lead to a 2 point lead in a matter of minutes.
Their persistent shooting, good communication on offense and scrappiness on defense are frustrating Cal. In fact, Cal has only shot the ball eight times so far as compared to ASU's 19 shots.
Granted this has already become a physical game where now two ASU players have landed flat on their backs and Cal's Greif is now crying in pain on the floor (the latest quote from crowd is from a Cal fan saying "See what you let happen you piece of s&@t!" - ah Pac-10 women's basketball, a family event).
With the crowd getting ugly already and the refs deciding to now call the game more closely, it will be a long game.
Here we are on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in San Jose.
It's bright and warm outside, but who cares? The only place to be right now is either inside the HP Pavilion or with your eyes glued to my posts as I write about the exciting action about to take place in the first of two semi-final games today.
First on tap is No. 2 seed ASU facing off against the No. 3 seed CAL. With both teams rested, ready to play today and anxious to play tomorrow night in the championship game, right now it's anyone's guess on who will win. The only thing that you can be sure of is that both of these teams will be playing again in two weeks when the NCAA tournament starts.
Later on No 1 see Stanford faces off against No. 5 USC. The Trojans are still fighting for the invitation to play in the NCAA tournament, so it will be interesting to see how much of last night's emotional win will carry over against the Cardinal.
The bubble has popped and USC is still standing. Hopefully the NCAA tournament selection committee paid attention tonight and agree that the Pac-10 should send five teams to the dance. If USC does make it into the NCAA tournament, Cinderella could be wearing cardinal and gold this year.
This emotionally charged game where neither team was ready to let up was fun for fans to watch, but as USC's coach Mark Trakh said "Terrible to coach."
Leading the way for USC were Chloe Kerr with 14 points and Shay Murphy with 14 points and her 11 rebounds were huge for the Women of Troy.
Just as ASU's coach put it "If you control the boards, you control the game," and with 42 rebounds from USC compared to 30 from Washington, I think it may be the quote of the day.
The Huskies were paced by Cameo Hicks with 18 points and the team's second best of five boards. While Breanne Watson led the Huskies on the boards with six rebounds.
Even though carrying this emotion into tomorrow's game will be a challenge, USC's coach Trakh plans on letting his players enjoy this win for tonight and the promise of another day in San Jose.
USC will face Stanford tomorrow at 4:30 pm. See you then!
Hold onto your hats folks, on a third chance shot, USC's Shay Murphy breaks up the 71 all tie and then her teammate Jamie Funn blocked a hug shot for Washington only to follow it up with a very emotional two points to give USC a four point lead.
There's 55.8 seconds left and if I haven't said it before, STAY TUNED!
Alright, I know I am not supposed to show any emotion, so my fingernails are taking the brunt of this game.
From second chance shots to tight man defense, neither teams have let up a bit in this second half.
There have been some huge shots from Washington's Emily Florence and Cameo Hicks just got into double digits. Meanwhile for USC, Chloe Kerr has stepped up while Jamie Hagiya may only have 8 points, but with six of those points coming from three-pointers made on a pull up jumpers, there's still a lot more game to be played.
There are less than nine minutes left and USC is holding onto a four point lead.
USC knows what tonight and this tournament mean to their season.
Maybe it's the pressure of their do or die situation? Or maybe they have come full circle as a team after a difficult season that is helping them execute their offense flawlessly and make their shots close to the basket? Whatever it is, it's working.
The Trojans are up 26-23 and Chloe Kerr just took out a male and female songleader from Washington while chasing after a bad pass.
It's time for what may be the second most important game to the championship game of this Pac-10 tournament - USC vs. Washington.
Washington is in-line to be the fourth team from the Pac-10 to make it into the NCAA tournament, but with USC nipping at their heels in 5th place, if USC can win the Pac-10 tournament, or at least have an amazing performance, they could bump Washington out and enjoy being a host of the first and second round in two weeks.
These two teams split their regular season games, so the winner of tonight's game will also take the series for the season.
Hold on, this should be a tough one as we get started.
At the end of the first half, I thought I would get my upset for the weekend as Arizona pulled within two.
I kept hoping to see the Wildcats overcome slim deficits, but it wasn't in the cards.
Instead, Stanford dominated the game (in points in the paint (30), points off turnovers (20), second chance points (11), fast break points (8) and rebounds (43), and lives to see tomorrow with their final score of 65-55.
Not only did Stanford dominate with the talent and skill of Wiggins, but with ther huge presence of Jayne Appel, the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, and her 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Jillian Harmon, who finished with 11 points, the height advantage was too much for Arizona to match up against.
Sure the quickness of Ashley Whisonant, who fouled out with 38.9 left on the clock and recorded a team-leading 18 points, helped, but it just wasn't enough.
As Arizona packs their bags tonight, Stanford goes back to rest up for their game against the winner of the USC vs. Washington game tomorrow at 4:30 pm.
Stay tuned, the prime time game is coming up next!
Not only did some Stanford fans show up and attend the Arizona State vs. UCLA game, but during the hour long break we had, I saw some of their fans sleeping in their cars when I took a walk outside of HP Pavilion.
Now, the number of Stanford fans here easily outnumbers the combined number of fans that each school has had for their own game. Yes, I know that there is a large concentration of fans in the area since Stanford is a short drive away, but while I wish that all of the cardinal I am seeing in the stands were for USC coming up next, I have to face facts that they are Stanford die-hards.
Arizona meanwhile doesn't seem to care who is in attendence as they capitalized on some turnovers and better shot selection to end the half down by only two points.
So my fellow CSTV.com blogger Jessica Garrison had her share of obnoxious mascots, so I guess it is my turn tonight.
After all, I did just get rid of an obnoxious band, but now I not only have the Stanford band to deal with (yes, this is the same band that formed the shape of a person on a handicapped parking pass during their home football game against UCLA the year that many UCLA football players got busted for using fake handicapped parking passes to get better parking spots), but I also have the Stanford Tree to deal with.
It doesn't even look like a tree anymore. In fact, it looks more like a brown teepee with a big smile on it and different colored leaf branches sticking out of the top.
I just hope that it will not come dancing in front of the press row too much.
As Stanford's Candice Wiggins is recovering from a hamstring injury, one of the many questions in tonight's match-up between Stanford and Arizona is if she will play.
The team is 5-0 without her and there are some who think that Brooke Smith actually carries this team, but the initial scouting report here finds Wiggins dressed and ready to play. Will she actually play though it still TBD.
One player on the Stanford side who will not be playing tonight is JJ Hones as she is out with an ACL tear (one of four that occured in the Pac-10 this season).
Meanwhile on the Arizona side, everyone looks ready to go. I was in the resturant of the media (and team) hotel this morning when they came in for breakfast. I can't tell you the exact number of waffles, mugs of hot chocolate or glasses of orange juice that were consumed by the Wildcats, but I was quite happy to have been in there BEFORE they arrived.
Through physical play, lack of calls by the referees and almost seeing my first women's basketball wrestling match, ASU moves on to play on Sunday after beating UCLA 74-64. In the end though as ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne put it, "If you control the boards, you control the game."
Not only did ASU control the boards with 39 compared to UCLA's 28, but the Sun Devils also shut down UCLA's Noelle Quinn who led her team with 25 points. Quinn was on 9-26 shooting from the field, 1-3 shooting from three-point land and going a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line.
ASU's Briann January led the Sun Devils with 18 points on 5-8 shooting from the field, a perfect 2-2 from the three point arch and 6-7 from the charity stripe.
The HP Pavilion is clear right now as the Stanford vs. Arizona game does not start until 5pm.
She's a whole 5-foot-5 and yet doesn't seem to have a problem trying anything on the court.
From taking care of the ball to get it up the court to driving into the paint for a lay-up despite the likes of UCLA's 6-foot-4 Lindsey Pluimer or 6-foot-4 Chinyere Ibekwe down in the post.
She's pretty fearless.
While Periseau is pretty fearless, there's a wrestling match going on between UCLA's Ibekwe and ASU's Kirsten Thompson. The pushing and shoving was so bad that I actually thought the refs might call a foul. Then again, they would have to be paying attention too. A lot of pushing and shoving going on here in this game and the refs don't seem to mind it.
Oregon's Kaela Chapdelaine has a few words for the refs and isn't afraid to speak her mind.
She's been guarded pretty tight by Cal's Lauren Greif all game and the pushing just became too much. The refs just called Greif's third foul on her and Chapdelaine was so relieved that she expressed herself with a yell heading into the last time out.
I guess she since is a Duck, it was more of a quack than a yell.
Cal vs. Oregon: Ducks not going down without a fight
Cal currently has a nine point lead with 2:05 left in the first half, but with the larger than life presence of forward Devanei Hampton, they should be up by more. Yet is has been a pesky Oregon team that is keeping the game interesting.
First Cal was down 18-9. Through some solid shooting, Oregon put some numbers on the board while limiting Cal's shot selection giving us a score of 25-18 Cal.
Then through some big three point shooting and solid defense making it hard for Cal to find their shooters, Oregon has gone on a 8-2 run and brought the score within two points.
We are at halftime and time for the obstacle course race.
Everyone has their game face on here at the HP Pavilion, including some of the more vocal Cal fans.
The quote to start off the day here comes from a Cal fan who was upset that Cal's Ahsley Walker was called for hammering Oregon's Kaela Chapdelaine on a break away lay-up - "Let the play happen first."
Funny part about that is that the whistle was blown after the play occured.
I arrived an hour before game time today and instead of being greeted by the sounds of hip-hop warm-up music, I was awaken by the sounds of the Cal and Oregon bands trading off songs during their own warm-up.
Don't get me wrong, I played the clarinet while growing up so I have a soft spot in my heart for some bands and band members. Yet please let me wake up with a hot cup of coffee (remember, death before decaf) or green tea, not the sounds of 'Welcome to the Jungle' by the Cal band.
Oh well, it could have been worse, it could have been the UCLA band.
Oregon State vs. Arizona: Arizona sees another day and another game
Oregon State ran out of steam and Arizona pulled out with a 69-54 win.
Yes, despite numerous missed layups by Arizona, solid three-point shooting by Oregon State's Jasmine Smith and a game that stayed close until late in the second half, the Wildcats pull out with the win.
Leading the way, in a big way, with a team-high and career-high 23 points and four of the team's 10 steals by Whisonant, Arizona moves on to play Stanford tomorrow.
Leading all scores for Oregon State is Smith with 17 points.
Tip off for the first game tomorrow is at 11 am PT where California will face off against Oregon.
It may not be pretty, especially considering their inability to make the easy layups on a breakaway, but Arizona is maintaining and building their lead in large part to their steals tonight.
Oregon State's three steals look like whatever is left of that 4' burrito now (I saw about eight people enjoy at least one slice of it) compared to Arizona's nine steals tonight.
There's 3:54 left in the game, so stay tuned to see if they can hold on or if those missed layups are going to come back to haunt them (just like that 4' burrito and the indigestion that may be on the way).
There's 9:10 left in the game and Oregon State and Arizona continue to trade baskets. Granted Arizona now has a five point lead, but with the way these two teams are trading baskets, missing close shots and not connecting on every scoring opportunity, this one may come down to the wire.
I've heard and seen 4' long submarine sandwiches, but a 4' burrito, never.
Well, for those of you out there who are still awake and reading my blog, the 4' burrito is no longer an urban legend. It actually exists and I just saw it being delivered to the loudest fans still here.
Among the many questions I have about a 4' burrito, I do wonder, what do you put in a burrito of that size?
Arizona guard Ashley Whisonant has some pretty smooth moves.
From slipping through three screens in a row during a recent Oregon State possession to driving the lane, dishing off the ball before taking out an Oregon State post and staying on her feet, stealing the ball and going coast to coast and stealing an in-bound pass and scoring, her movements are quite fluid. Oh yeah, and she is leading the team with 11 points.
She is a big part of the reason why Arizona is heading into half time all tied up with Oregon State.
Oregon State vs. Arizona: Inching their way back...
After Arizona jumped out to an early lead, Oregon State has been chipping away at the lead with good shot selection and even better shot making and just took the lead with seven minutes left in the first half.
Here we go at the start of game two for the night and it's Oregon State vs. Arizona.
While the winner of this game will go on to face Stanford tomorrow afternoon, tonight's match up may be a battle of the headwear as Oregon State's point guard Mercedes Fox-Griffin and Arizona's point guard Malia O'Neal are both sporting the super absorbant cloth headband instead of the extra large rubber band.
As Griffin just hit her first jumper of the night to get some scoring going with 17:20 to go in the first half, her white headband is getting the first style point of the night.
UCLA vs. Washington State: UCLA (and their band) come back tomorrow
Forget the close three point victory margins against Washington State this season as a first half 19-8 surge put UCLA on top and for good as UCLA just beat Washington State convincingly with a 72-58 win.
UCLA's Lindsey Pluimer led the Bruins with 15 points and was followed up with Noelle Quinn's 14 points.
Washington State has next year to look forward to as their young team now has a year under their belt and an off-season to work hard in. Leading the Cougars was Marisa Stotler's 14 points followed by Amanda DuRocher with eight points.
With this win UCLA, and their band, are back tomorrow to take on Arizona State.
UCLA vs. Washington State: Scrappy with a side helping of heart
With 3:00 left, It's a pretty safe bet that UCLA is going to win this game. Honestly though, you gotta love the underdogs of Washington State for their scrappy style of play, never giving up and showing a lot of heart. After all, they could have folded and let UCLA walk all over them, but instead, they have continued to play tough by fighting and diving for every ball.
Not sure if Wolfgang Puck catered the Pac-10 banquet last night and the players are not feeling well, but there have been A LOT of missed shots from two feet away from the hoop tonight.
There have been so many missed shots so close to the basket, that if even half of the missed shots had been made, this may be a closer ball game with 10:31 left in the second half. Instead, UCLA is holding strong with the lead, which is now at 16 points.
I know there is still a lot of time left, but I'd hate to see Butch the Cougar head back to Pullman, Wash, tonight to go drink away his sorrow at 'The Coug.'
UCLA vs. Washington State: Obnoxious band go home!
I know I am biased as a USC alum, but can someone please make the UCLA band go away???
I realize they cheer, scream and yell obnoxious things in the interest of good fun (and to help make up for the small, but now growing crowd here), but seriously, I'd like to take the drummer's sticks and well, make it so he can't yell anything again.
Meanwhile, UCLA keeps pulling away. I guess since they only beat Washington State by three points both of the times they met during the season, UCLA wants to make sure that they don't get a scare in one of their biggest games of the year.
We may not have sweet tea, kettle korn or diet Dr. Pepper, but out here in the West the Pac-10 does take care of their media with lasagna (both meat and vegetable), bread sticks, ceasar salad, popcorn and bite-sized candy bars...
Eat your heart out East Coast basketball bloggers!
Women's hoops in the West gets such little respect to begin with, but unlike one of my favorite editor's who got a t-shirt at his game tonight, there are not t-shirts being thrown out in San Jose... :(
Instead UCLA keeps extending their lead, now at 29-20 with 2:44 left in the first half.
Not to take anything away from Washington State, but considering they finished last in the Pac-10 with a 1-17 conference record and have an overall winning percentage of .056, you gotta love seeing the underdog of the conference enjoy a lead, if only for a moment.
Despite UCLA finishing seventh in the Pac, this is a very evenly matched game. Both teams are not shooting well and turning the ball over either on steals or poor ball handling. This leads me to believe that either Washington State doesn't get the credit they deserve or UCLA is overrated...I'll take the possibiilty that UCLA may be overrated, but then again, I think all Trojans think that Bruin teams are overrated...
First off, I can't help but hear the words to Dionne Warwick's tribute to San Jose ringing in my head as I spend the next three days in this part of Northern Califonria. After all, each team had to find their way to San Jose by either car or plane, so it's only fitting and it's my blog so I will write what I want. :)
If you don't have the words penetrating your brain by now, then it's time to start focusing on the game, after all, they are announcing the starting line-ups.
Get your game face on, it's time to play ball up here in the West...
It's just under an hour before tip off of the UCLA vs. Washington State match-up and while there are no fans in the stands, the PA system has been tested and the warm-up music is about to go on.
Just as the music starts, the Washington State women's basketball team takes the court for their warm-ups.
UCLA has yet to appear on the court, but their abnoxious band is all set up (which means someone in security should be in trouble, or at least I hope so).
While there may not be much going on inside the HP Pavilion right now, outside is a different story. This is where a couple hundred aspiring women's basketball players have gathered to participate in a clinic being held by the Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative and conducted by the teams who are not playng tonight. One day one of those youngsters outside could be playing in here where media like me are waiting to write about their greatness on the court.