Thoughts From Quarterfinal Thursday at the Pac-12 TournamentPosted by bmulvihill on March 9th, 2012
Brendon Mulvihill is an RTC correspondent. He filed this report after Thursday’s quarterfinal round at the Pac-12 Tournament.
Here are a few quick thoughts from Quarterfinal Thursday of the Pac-12 Tournament in Los Angeles.
- It’s a one bid league – Based on the play of each team thus far in the tournament, only California has shown the skill set to be a NCAA Tournament team. They have a go-to scorer in Jorge Gutierrez, solid guard play from Justin Cobbs and Allen Crabbe, and some decent inside play with Harper Kamp and David Kravish. They showed an ability to knock down shots tonight against Stanford and make free-throws in clutch situations. None of the other teams pass the proverbial “eye test.” Whatever that means.
- Give Colorado credit - There’s only one team in the Pac-12 Tournament that is playing for their basketball lives and that’s the Colorado Buffaloes. The Buffs shot well in the first half and hung on for a big win over Oregon. Tad Boyle seems to have made it very clear to his guys that their only way to dance is to win. Credit his players for playing with passion and credit the Buffs’ fans for providing support. If you aren’t on the Colorado bandwagon yet, jump aboard because they are the most exciting thing going on at the Pac-12 Tourney thus far.
- It’s time for a change of scenery – Rumors have been swirling this week about the Pac-12 Tournament moving to Las Vegas next year. It’s a move that makes sense given all the empty seats in L.A. this year. Only one student section showed up to support its team – those incredible kids from Colorado. Even in the rivalry game between Stanford and Cal, it was few and far between in the stands. Los Angeles is not known for its rowdy crowds, and even the Laker games are quiet. Hopefully a move to Vegas will get people excited again.
- They’re people too – The most eye-opening part of covering these games live is watching the losing team in the press conference and in the stands. While the kids and coaches in the Pac-12 have been hammered all season long about poor play, you can tell each and everyone of them is working their behind off. I watched a Stanford player walk out of the locker room and get a big hug from his mom and dad after the loss to Cal. The look of disappointment on his face was unmistakable. While most are giving the teams grief for poor shooting or not hitting the boards hard enough, it’s clear the players still care.