Pac-12 M5: 01.11.13 Edition
Posted by Connor Pelton on January 11th, 2013
- Sports Illustrated released its first “Bubble Watch” of the season earlier this week, and seven Pac-12 teams appear on the initial list. As expected, Arizona was the only one to be named a “lock” on the list, and the remaining teams (Colorado, UCLA, Oregon, Arizona State, California, and Washington) are listed as squarely on the bubble. The only big surprise is Washington, and while the Huskies got a nice win at California on Wednesday, this is still a team with losses to Albany, Colorado State, and Nevada, all in Seattle.
- Also announced earlier this week was the news that Oregon State was added to the 2013 Diamond Head Classic field. This will be Oregon State’s third straight appearance in a made-for-ESPN tournament, following the Legends Classic in 2011 and 2K Sports Classic in 2012. The Pac-12 is no stranger to the tournament, as Arizona just made its mark on the tourney’s brief history three weeks ago. The Wildcats beat East Tennessee State and Miami (FL) in the quarters and semis before pulling out a one-point, comeback victory against San Diego State in the championship game. USC, Washington State, and Utah have been the other three Pac-12 schools to compete in the Diamond Head Classic, so add the Beavers to the growing list.
- The Pac-12 had its own rush the court moment last night, courtesy of Oregon staving off a furious Arizona comeback in the final minutes of a Ducks’ four-point victory. What had been hyped all week as the game of the week inside the conference ended up making a pretty good case for itself. The Wildcats opened the contest with an 11-0 run, only to see their lead become a one-point deficit just over three minutes later. For the remainder of the next 30 minutes, the game was all Oregon. Zona would make a mini-run once in a while, but up until their 14-5 run to close the game beginning at the 4:15 mark, this one appeared to be a runaway Ducks’ victory. All was not to be, however, as Nick Johnson turned the ball over before even attempting a game-tying three with 15 seconds left.
- Forty-five miles up the road, things were not nearly as cheery for Oregon State on Thursday night. Before its matchup with Arizona State, head coach Craig Robinson suspended both Eric Moreland and Victor Robbins indefinitely. Interestingly enough, Moreland likely would have been out for the game anyway with a strained back, but there was a possibility he wouldn’t be officially suspended for the game, so word of it didn’t drop until just before tip-off. The Beavers fell to Arizona State by 10 points, 72-62.
- The wheels are appearing to fall off in Berkeley for a California team that has lost six of its last nine games. In this interview with California’s official blog, coach Mike Montgomery claims that relying on talent alone and not getting up for each and every game is to blame for the recent struggles. The Golden Bears are close to slipping off the NCAA bubble for good, and a win against Washington State tomorrow is an absolute must to keep both their NCAA Tourney chances and season from dying on the vine, and fast.