Pac-12 ATB: 01.12

Posted by Connor Pelton on January 13th, 2012

The Lede.  Through two and a half weeks of Pac-12 basketball, we still don’t know much about this league and how it’s going to shake out. But one thing was confirmed on Thursday night; California is going to have a say on who wins this conference. The Golden Bears got a solid, 57-50 victory over first-place Colorado at Haas Pavilion last night, vaulting Cal into a tie for first place with rival Stanford. In a year where finishing in the top four gives you a first round bye in the pivotal Pac-12 Tournament, the Bears now have big wins over UCLA, Oregon, and the Buffs, all of which can be used as tie breakers for seeding come March.

California forward Harper Kamp led the Bears with 14 points in their win Thursday night. (credit: Tony Zhou)

With the amount of parity and inconsistency in this league, it’s tough to take a single result and make it a big deal. After all, Cal could go out tomorrow and lose to Utah, and Colorado go and win four straight. But last night’s win for Cal felt different, at least to me. First of all, they showed they can win without a huge night from Allen Crabbe. Crabbe, the favorite (or co-favorite) to win Pac-12 Player of the Year, scored in single digits for only the fourth time of the season last night. Instead, players like Harper Kamp, Justin Cobbs were able to step up in the closing minutes to close out the win.

Second, this was the second straight win over a solid opponent for Cal, something that has been and will continue to be tough to come by as conference play continues. The victory moves Cal into a tie for first place in the Pac, and with games against Utah, Washington, and Washington State coming up, the Bears could find themselves on top for a while.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Pac-12 ATB: Weekend in Review

Posted by Connor Pelton on December 12th, 2011

The Lede. 
Picked by almost all preseason pundits as a lock to make the NCAA Tournament, Washington finds itself at .500 through eight games. There was the embarrassing double-figure loss at Saint Louis, an overtime heartbreaker at Nevada, and some questionable coaching at the end of the Jimmy V Classic against Marquette. Now the Huskies are on the wrong side of the bubble and slipping fast. In order for the Dawgs to get back into the NCAA picture, blowout victories in their final three nonconference games (UC Santa Barbara, South Dakota State, and Cal State Northridge) are vital, and 12 or 13 wins in the Pac-12 will also be necessary.

Washington's Run Against Duke Came a Bit Too Late Saturday

For the sake of comparison, and because I have a degree in Bracketology, here’s a look at Washington’s current résumé compared to the three other teams that I have on the wrong side of the bubble:


  • Record: 4-4
  • RPI: 78
  • SOS: 28
  • Quality Wins: N/A
  • Bad Losses: @ Nevada

Oklahoma State

  • Record: 6-3
  • RPI: 86
  • SOS: 80
  • Quality Wins: N/A
  • Bad Losses: N/A


  • Record: 6-3
  • RPI: 97
  • SOS: 105
  • Quality Wins: @ TCU
  • Bad Losses: Wake Forest


  • Record: 4-4
  • RPI: 170
  • SOS: 171
  • Good Wins: N/A
  • Bad Losses: South Carolina

Looking over the résumés, it appears that Washington, Oklahoma State, and Nebraska are all pretty even at this point, while Clemson is a few steps behind. I am big on strength of schedule so if I had to fill one spot with any of those three teams, I would go with Washington. The Cornhuskers do have a nice win at TCU, but a home loss against a terrible Wake Forest team cancels that out. The Cowboys boast a nice record and a mediocre RPI, but with no quality wins and an SOS that is far behind Washington’s, I don’t feel good putting them in the field.

What we have not yet mentioned was the great game that took place on Saturday between Duke and the Huskies. It took Washington 15 minutes into the second half to FINALLY make some baskets, but they grouped that with great defense and some poor Blue Devil shooting to cut a deficit that was as big as 19 in the second half all the way down to three with a minute left. Unfortunately for Washington, Duke eventually found their touch at the line in the final minute, and the only time they would get back within six was on a Terrence Ross three as time expired.
Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story