Last time I wrote about ASU basketball was early January when we beat the University of Arizona Wildcats 64-59 in overtime to go 3-0 in Pac10 play. Much moaning came from Wildcat supporters with claims that, had they had their phenom freshman (Bayless) the score would have been different.
Soon after that game the Sun Devils entered a tail-spin and went to 4-5 in conference before finding themselves today facing the full strength Wildcats away from home. Wildcat supporters predicted a massacre. Well, guess what? ASU came back from a sixteen point deficit to win 59-54. I wonder what the excuses from the U of A faithful will be now?
Both teams are now 5-5 in conference play.
Coming on the end of the week here and all is good. My classes look sharp, so it should be a good semester of teaching. Various non-teaching bits and pieces have clicked together over the past few days, so it looks like a good semester.
And ASU basketball has done it again – beating Cal 99-90 in double overtime to go 14-2 (4-0 in the Pac-10). Up next is Stanford (14-3, 3-2) who beat Arizona tonight to send the Wildcats to 11-6 (1-3). Could we even imagine that ASU would go to March Madness and Arizona end up in the NIT? Only time will tell.
I wouldn’t have believed it had I not seen it with my own eyes, but ASU beat Arizona 64-59 in overtime. That after being behind by 12 points and seven at the half. That after scoring only six points (and shooting 15%) in the first ten minutes. To put this in perspective, Arizona had won 24 of the last 25 meetings and is ranked #25 in the ESPN/USA Today poll.
ASU go 13-2 (3-0 in conference play) and get their ninth straight win, taking the lead in the Pac-10. Arizona fall to 10-5 (1-2).
What makes this even more enjoyable was that throughout the football season, Wildcat fans were continually excusing the failure of their team with choruses of "but we’re better at basketball".
The final AP Poll standings have been released and unsurprisingly, LSU finds itself in the #1 slot, followed by Georgia, USC, Missouri, and Ohio State. ASU find themselves at 16 and two other Pac-10 teams are ranked (Oregon @ 23 and Oregon State @ 25). Predictably, Hawai’i slid to #19 and Illinois to #20.
Next season will be interesting for ASU. USC are likely to be strong and we play them and Cal back-to-back in California. We also have a non-conference game against Georgia. Yikes!
I’m not a college hoops fan, but this is surely a sign of something. While neither team is ranked in the AP Top 25, Arizona State got more votes (53) that the University of Arizona (26). ASU are 12-2 (2-0 in the Pac10) and face Arizona on Wednesday.
It’s not like ASU did wonderfully against Texas (losing the Holiday Bowl 52-34), but at least they turned up to play somewhat (albeit not in the first quarter). The same can’t be said for Illinois in the Rose Bowl (49-17 to USC) and Hawai’i in the Sugar Bowl (41-10 to Georgia). Clearly neither of the teams deserved a BCS slot and Hawai’i (and Colt Brennan) showed itself to be nowhere near being able to play outside the WAC.
Those BCS games are really working out well – two down, two blowouts. Methinks something is amiss with the system.
As I stayed up late last night to watch Hawai’i stumble past a mediocre Washington team (who are last place in the Pac-10), I got to thinking. Sure, Colt Brennan is a very talented kid who has been able to work well with some good receivers, but the Warrior’s record of 12-0 is vastly overrated and not deserving of a BCS bowl slot. They took on a single ranked opponent (Boise State) but the rest of their schedule was powder-puff: Northern Colorado (1-11), Louisiana Tech (5-7), UNLV (2-10), Charleston Southern (5-6), Idaho (1-11), Utah State (2-10), San Jose State (5-7), New Mexico State (4-9), Fresno State (8-4), Nevada (6-6), Boise State (#19, 10-2), and Washington (4-9). That’s a combined record of 53-92, with only three opponents ending the season with 0.5 record or above.
Let’s compare that to ASU’s opponents: Jose State (5-7), Colorado (6-6), San Diego State (4-8), Oregon State (8-4), Stanford (4-8), Washington State (5-7), Washington (4-9), California (#21, 6-6), Oregon (#5, 8-4), UCLA (6-6), USC (#11, 10-2), and Arizona (5-7). That’s a combined record of 72-74, with three ranked opponents and six opponents at 0.5 or above.
I guess what I’m getting at here is this. I cannot see why Hawai’i is ranked as high as it is and certainly why it eligible for a BCS game. As I type this, the AP rankings have placed Hawai’i at #10.
BCS title game prediction: Ohio State v. LSU
Update: AP are reporting that ASU (#11) are heading to the Holiday Bowl to take on Texas (#19, 9-3).