The PAC-12 WBB tournament tipped off this afternoon. First game, 12 seed ASU against 5 seed UCLA. Game is currently in OT tied with about 3 minutes left, with ASU, and its limited weapons, hanging on by a thread.
And, UCLA pulls it out and avoids the upset. But UCLA is a good team and them having to play overtime today, can’t help them as they play here on.
This was the first thing I thought of when the game ended.
Give credit to WSU, they played a very aggressive man to man defense that just shackled our shooters, and when open, other than Kneepkens, we couldn’t make them.
I was also thinking going in, get at least one win and protect a #1 seed, but, once again, as happened in Tucson, the team is the hunted rather than the hunter, and, unlike Stanford, this team needs to learn to play in that situation where you aren’t the underdog.
WSU was able to withstand the turnovers and their own poor shooting in the 1st half and was able to stay close. I felt that if the Utes had hit a couple of shots early in the second, it would hurt WSU’s confidence. Instead, WSU came out for the 3Q ready to go, got some confidence, and away they went. When you let an underdog get a little confidence, watch out.
Back in 1998, when the Big Dance started Thursday/Friday the next week, playing one game (and losing to host UNLV) left the Utah men’s a bit more rested (compared to teams that played several games on consecutive nights).
Many of the women’s tournies are this week (with tourney starting in 2 weeks) so playing just one game not as much as a factor.
But still while the ladies had an off night (again I give full credit to the Cougars of course) they have a great opportunity in front of them. Let’s pack the Hunty and send them to the sweet 16 (likely in Seattle).
disappointing to see how much Pili forced it down the stretch. She wasn’t on at all and continued to make wild layup attempts and shoot jumpers early in the shot clock in the 4Q. needed to force feed Kneepkens even though she wasn’t perfect either (one of her made 3s was a bank from the shoulder of the 3pt line which means the shot was way off and she had a few bricks as well). Lot of talent spread around this Utah team so hopefully Pili doesn’t feel the need to play hero ball the rest of the way if she has another off night.