First congratulations to Azulie who predicted UH would not win a game and would score 59 points in the Conference Tournament contest. UH scored 60 and lost. Azulie, email me with your address at jportnoy @cades.com so i can get you your prizes.
What can i say about the game that's not been already said. A very disappointing loss in the biggest game of the year. UH was terrible in the first half and even their mini 11 point run to open the second half never got them to a single digit deficeit. Issac struggled again on the road, Vander was totally outplayed in the first half, Jace forgot to shoot for the first 30 minutes and then couldnt hit a basket, and the Irvine guards dominated the Hawaii backcourt. But kudos to Hans who played his heart out from the opeing tip to the closing buzzer.
The reward for losing is a bid to the Riley Wallace Invitational and a chance to play at least one more home game ( probably 2 as Air Force's best player is unlikely to play). I am not a big fan of this tournament , but i guess UH ponied up the cash to host ( somewhere between 35 and 50,000 dollars I am told). Not many teams in the West were prepared to do so, so come on out to cheer the team on and hopefully keep any financial losses to a minimum.
Its time for the annual NCAA Portnoy Bracket Contest. You can enter until 5am Hi time on Thursday, one entry each. Big Prizes await the winner. You need to pick the elite eight for 2 points for each correct guess, the final four for 4 points each, the semi-final winners for 8 points and the National Champ for 12 points. Also pick the total amount of points without going over in the final game as the tiebreacker. We will need at least ten entries.
Gift Certificates to some of Hawaii's favorite restuarants await the winner. For some hints from the experts, listen in tomorrow on ESPN 1420 for hoopstalk at 7 for a special 2 hour edition as jackson and I, and some surprise guests, will give you our picks. Then pick the opposite.