March Madness- I Can’t Even Believe I’m Previewing A Semi-Final (Plus UCLA-Arizona)


So we go this whole season and then suddenly the Utah Utes basketball team is playing like a real basketball team.  The Utes survive USC, survive overtime against Cal and now for a third whack at the Oregon Ducks.

Just give me a minute to enjoy this…..


So the Utes have faced the Ducks twice this year.  In the first game up in Eugene, Utah took an eight point lead into the half only to see Oregon explode for 51 second half points and the Utes were run out of the gym.  Oregon was paced by 21 from E.J. Singler and 11 points and 14 boards from the massive Persian, Araslan Kazemi.

Salt Lake was a different story however as the Ducks looked tired while the Utes played with a renewed energy.  Utah shot 56% (even higher in the first half) and Oregon never got closer than six points.  Singler had 21 again but Kazemi had only five.  For Utah, Washburn had 20, Dubois with 15 and Loveridge and Taylor both with 14.

So what happens in the rubber match.  Who in the hell really knows at this point.

But here is the theory I’m going to work off of.  Utah comes out hot early, off of the strength of the wonderful weekend they’ve had. Oregon closes at the half.  And in the second half as Rick Majerus said when we lost in the national title game, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”  Utah will be on it’s third game in three nights while Oregon will only be on it’s second.  Like I said, its just a theory and if somehow we have the energy for one more, well I’ll be as pleased as anyone.

So we’ll see.

UCLA vs Arizona

This is the marquee event that everyone will be watching for.  This will be the third meeting of these teams.  UCLA swept the Cats this year.  But I think I have a better handle on this one.  While Arizona isn’t perfect, I don’t trust UCLA.  UCLA probably should have lost to Arizona St. and I just think Arizona has a bit more consistency about them. Maybe Muhammad goes off and I look silly.  But it’s just as likely he goes 4 for 22 and shoots UCLA out of the game.

Gotta Go With The Cats.

If nothing else, this Pac-12 tourney has been a blast.