Clean as the Opening Whistle: A Recap Of The Pac-12’s Undefeated First WeekendPosted by Connor Pelton on November 13th, 2012
The Pac-12 made it through the opening weekend of college basketball with an unblemished record (13-0), one of only two power conferences to do so. Let’s take a closer look at how it all went down through the first few days.
Upsets – None. Zip. Nada. The Pac-12 team was the favorite in each of the 13 games played this weekend, and they won each and every time. Oregon State and Arizona were the closest schools to a loss as the Beavers held off New Mexico State, 71-62, and the Wildcats pulled away late to win 82-73 against Charleston Southern.
Best Game – New Mexico State at Oregon State: This one had all the makings of an upset for the first 10 minutes of the game. The Aggies used their height advantage to dominate the glass and took advantage of a slow-to-rotate Beaver defense by nailing mid-range and three-point jumpers. But down 18-12 midway through the first half, the Beavers went on a 22-6 run to kill the Aggies’ morale. New Mexico State hung around for the duration of the contest, and even had a chance to cut the deficit to three with 30 seconds left, but Terrel de Rouen clanked a three-point attempt and the Beavers escaped.
Player of the Week – Dwight Powell: Stanford’s junior forward scored 27 points in 32 minutes on Friday night against San Francisco. Even more impressive is the fact that Powell didn’t have a point in the final seven minutes of Stanford’s 74-62 win at the Oracle Coliseum. However, his final bucket, a tip-in to extend the Cardinal lead to 13, was a dagger to the heart of the Dons. Powell also pulled down seven rebounds on the night.
Upcoming Game of the Week – I’m not trying to steal Kevin’s job, so I’ll throw out a few options here:
- Long Beach State at USC: Both teams will be 1-0 heading into Tuesday’s crosstown rivalry. The key for USC’s solid defense will be shutting down wing James Ennis. Ennis is an athletic three who can knock down mid-range jumpers with consistency, and with a great distributor in Branford Jones, the 49ers have a good shot at taking the Big West title.
- Oregon State vs Alabama: This should be the closest game of the week. Both teams play a very similar style, so expect the first team to 80 to win it. The Crimson Tide have a pair of centers that stand at 7’0″ and 7’1″ in Moussa Gueye and Carl Engstrom. Their play on the offensive glass through second chance opportunities will be the key in this one.
- Belmont at Stanford: The Bruins have the depth and athleticism to compete with Murray State this season for the Ohio Valley’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins are led by a duo of senior guards that will keep them competitive throughout. Stanford’s been projected by most as about an eight or nine seed come Selection Sunday. A double-digit win here would help big time in its case for one of those.