LAS VEGAS — What a wild and wacky day in the Pac-12 Tournament. We should expect crazy things like this to happen by now, but we never learn, do we?
By we, I mean me.
Anyway, here’s today’s round-up, which I’ll be posting every day of the tournament. For now on, it will be much sooner, I promise.
First, though, check out my story about David Kravish, Bruce's advance of Cal-Arizona, my story about Arizona's Pac-12 Tournament curse and about how Arizona fans will probably take over MGM from here on out and a seen and heard notes from MGM.
Anyway, here's the first round-up of the week.
(8) California against (9) Washington State
- Final score: Cal 84, Wazzu 59
- Player of the game: David Kravish (Cal). The senior had a career night — 25 points (10-of-17 shooting), 8 rebounds, 3 blocks
- Key moment(s): Kravish’s block of Ike Iroegbu, which I wrote about here. #ShamelessPlug
- Stat: 14-of-15. Made shots for Cal from the 7:33 mark in the first half until the 16:16 spot in the second. The Bears went from down 16-15 to up 47-30 in that span.
- Quote (Cal): “Offensively, I think that’s probably the best game we’ve had. Everybody showed up. It was just an overall great game for us… it’s really fun. You see the atmosphere in the locker room, everybody’s happy.” — Cal guard Tyrone Wallace
- Quote (Wazzu): “When you have a player that is your best player, one of your better players in the conference, he did not jump schools, like so many kids want to…he stayed. He stayed at a school. He was true to his school. If anybody deserves to have some success, it was DaVonté Lacy.” — Cougars coach Ernie Kent, on senior DaVonte Lacy.
- Next: Cal against (1) Arizona, 12 p.m., Pac-12 Networks
(12) USC against (5) Arizona State
- Final score: USC 67, ASU 64
- Player of the game: Elijah Stewart (USC). The freshman, who’s struggled at times this season, broke out with 27 points and six 3-pointers.
- Key moment(s): Uhhhh. How about that time ASU blew a 14-point lead? Or when the Sun Devils missed three straight shots with 34 seconds left, getting an offensive rebound each time, before calling timeout, only to miss another shot? Or when Nikola “Not-Vucevic” Jovanovic had a game-saving block of Shaq “Not O’Neal” McKissic? Or when said-Shaq nearly made a game-tying three from halfcourt at the buzzer? Yeesh.
- Stat: 2. Road wins for USC in Pac-12 play since Andy Enfield was hired last year. This includes Wednesday’s win. Also, the Trojans are the first-ever 12-seed to win a game in the Pac-12, which has only been possible since 2012 anyway.
- Quote (USC): “This is probably one of the top moments of the season, especially coming back down ten. People had their suitcase packed up on us, and we just had to come back. Now we gotta come back tomorrow and do the same thing…we gotta keep on trucking.” — Stewart
- Quote (ASU): “ Anytime you lose, you don't feel good about it. But I would say that this team improved from the beginning of the year to the end of the year as much as any squad we've ever had.” — ASU coach Herb Sendek
- Next: USC against (4) UCLA, 2:30 p.m., Pac-12
(10) Colorado against (7) Oregon State
- Final score: Colorado 78, Oregon State 71
- Player of the game: Askia Booker (Colorado): It wasn’t his best game, but Overconfidence Guy’s overconfidence probably won the game for Colorado in the second half. More on that in a second, but he had 20 points.
- Key moment: At 6:16, an Olaf “Not the Snowman” Schaftenaar three-pointer made it 67-63 Colorado. Then Gary Payton II committed a flagrant foul, Colorado made the free throws, and the rest is history.
- Stat: 8. Straight points for Booker with 11:36 to go, giving the Buffs a 58-54 lead which they would hold for good.
- Quote (Colorado): “When I started off, I played like crap in the first half, man.” — Booker
- Quote (Oregon State): “I know right now it stings because we made some mistakes that maybe cost us. But I'm going to keep saying this, I'm still really, really proud of this group for gutting it out and for buying in.” — OSU coach Wayne Tinkle
- Next: Colorado against (2) Oregon, 6 p.m., Pac-12
(6) Stanford against (11) Washington
- Final score: Stanford 71, UW 69
- Player of the game: Chasson Randle (Stanford): It wasn’t a great game for him (10 points, 3 of 11 shooting, 6 assists, 2 turnovers), but his best play is the only one that really mattered in the end.
- Moment: That play was with three seconds on the clock, when Randle made what would be the game-winning 3-pointer.
- Stats: 16, 6, 7. That is, points, rebounds and assists for Nigel Williams-Goss, the Huskies guard, who might’ve played his last game for UW as he considers the NBA Draft.
- Quote (Stanford):"Every shot is a new shot. You can't think about the last shot. My teammates kept telling me to shoot it." — Randle
- Quote (UW): "We all trust Dan (Kingma). If we could do it again, I’d have him up there again and have full confidence that he can make those FTs." — Williams-Goss on Kingma, who missed a free throw that could’ve potentially sealed the game for Washington.
- Next: Stanford against (3) Utah, 8:30 p.m., ESPN