Monday, February 26, 2007



No fluff or BS, last night's loss to U of A hurt. In the last decade of the ASU men's basketball program, whether it be under the regime of Herb Sendek, Rob Evans, or Don Newman, (how 'bout that reference?) the Sun Devils know the art of making a win seem so easily attainable before launching it away from themselves in such choke-job fashion that Marty Schottenheimer would take notice. I'll admit, I was overly giddy regarding the halftime lead, but reality set in shortly thereafter. We are still the bastard stepchild of Pac-10 hoops, no matter how many prized recruits are coming.

Despite the Republic's multitude of sob stories about how the gap is closing and that "there is hope for this rivalry," ASU still looks like the team that has been locked in the cycle of losing close heartbreakers to the Kitties roughly one out of every four attempts. The last one, as you may remember, ended with the no-call on a travel before Salim Stoudamire's last second shot at Wells Fargo Arena.

Moral victories? Hope for the future? Leave that for the football fans in Tucson. I want another crack at the Cats, and the Pac-10 Tournament is the only possibility. Here's the bracket setup and the current standings/conference records (as of February 26, 2007):

1. UCLA (14-2)
2.Washington State (12-4)
3. USC (11-5)
4. Oregon (10-7)
5. Arizona (9-7)
6. Stanford (9-7)
7. Washington (6-10)
8. Cal (6-10)
9. Oregon State (3-14)
10. Arizona State (1-15)

Sooo... as the English say, not bloody likely. The only mathematical and logical hope is that UA drops to the #6 seed and ASU wins the play-in vs. Washington/Cal and then upsets the #2 seed, most likely Washington State or possibly of USC. I'm not going to hold my breath on it, but the only solace that could be taken from this season is if the Devils can screw up the standings by upsetting a few teams, most notably UofA. For all of this to happen, Stanford needs to sweep the Arizona schools and U of A will have to be swept by the Bay Area schools, but crazier things have happened. Otherwise, both teams will have to make the final, and I think UCLA (among others) may have something to say about that. Herb Sendek had his share of successful runs in the ACC tournament with undermanned NC State teams, so it's not a completely lost cause.

This sucks. When does spring practice start?

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