Before I start this, playing Idaho St. in basketball gives me a chance to tell one of my favorite stories about college basketball. It was 1977 and the NCAA regional was at the Marriott Center in Provo. The West Semi-finals pitted Utah v UNLV and UCLA v Idaho St. Utah lost a close game to UNLV setting up what everyone assumed would be a UNLV-UCLA match-up to see who goes to the final four.
Only it didn’t shake out that way.
UCLA had a six point halftime lead. At halftime, the Cougar-ettes performed. UCLA came out of the locker room early, interrupted and walked thru the Cougar-ettes routine. And as we all know hell hath no fury like a Cougar fan scorned. And so an ambivalent crowd turned wildly anti-UCLA. Every time the U-C-L-A chant would go up, it would be drown out by IDAHO STATE… IDAHO STATE.
Idaho St. would go on to one of the most shocking upsets in college basketball history and this game would mark the true end of the UCLA dynasty. UCLA coach Gene Bartow, who had taken over for Wooden, would decide it wasn’t worth the trouble and would leave to start a program at Alabama-Birmingham.
And while this story has nothing to do with the Utah-Idaho St. game tonight, I do love it so.
As for tonights game. Well I’ll let this one thought give you what you need to know about the 3-2 Bengals. They gave up 62 points to Evergreen St. The Bengals losses are to Arizona St. and Cal State Bakersfield while beating San Francisco (not too shabby) and Carroll College. They have five players in double figures led by Chris Hansen and Tomas Sanchez.
As for the Utes, one thing that is emerging is that they aren’t the team they were last year defensively. Marvelle Harris of Fresno got 22, Derrick Marks of Boise had 17 and both missed major parts of the game due to foul trouble. This is something that can’t bode well for the Pac-12 schedule.
Another observation came from a friend on the twitter, but I think it’s accurate. Jordan Loveridge resembles Britton Johnsen in that if he his his first shot, things are about to go well, but if he misses his first, he seems to press and can disappear for a half. In the list of sins, wanting to do to much is one of the better ones to have, but as I say, I think it’s a fair evaluation.
Tonight should generally be a walkover, but it looks like Idaho St. might have the talent to stay around for a half. And the Utes just might be looking ahead to Saturday, so if tonight is a bit sloppy, I don’t think there is anything to read into that.
Tomorrow we’ll have post game and start looking forward to the big schedule on Saturday.