By Jeff Portnoy
Just back from San Jose where i watched Oregon and my alma mater, Syracuse, advance to the East Regionals. That makes sense. Send Syracuse to San Jose to play in the East First and Second Round and seed Oregon 12th.
But it didnt give me a chance to weigh in on two topics i have been blogging about all year, Vander and the Big West. First Vander. I dont care what anybody says, his classless act of leaving the Bench and the Arena during the game is inexcusable. End of story. I dont know what it says about both he and the program, but its not good. I dont care how " frustrated he was about his poor play in that game or his disappointing season", you play as team and you dont walk out on your team-mates. He has been a head case the entire time he played here, but folks were happy to look the other way so long as he was a dominating player. I believe the University allowed him to dictate his conduct both on and off the court (just count up his technicals and official's warnings), but i dont care how many rebounds and points you have, he will be remembered for his last act as a Rianbow, at least by me.
And all year i have been talking about how weak a conference the Big West was and some of you took issue with that. Well look how the Conference has fared in the postseason. Pacific, the Conference CHamp, loses by 29 to Miami. Long Beach, the regular season champ, lost by 56, yes that's right, to Baylor in the NIT. Cal Poly, who beat us twice, lost by 42 ( yes that's 42) to Weber State in the first round of the Riley Wallace Invitational and we lost by 4, at home, to an Air Force team that didnt have its best player ( leading scorer and rebounder) and then left here and lost by 21 to Weber State. Case closed. This league needs to improve, and fast, or become irrelevant on the National scene.
By the way, everybody is talking about how nobody knew anything about Florida Gulf Coast. If you listen to Hoopstalk, you heard their head coach as a guest on our show back in December after they had beaten Miami. Finally regular season show is this weds at 7. We will have a Final recruiting show in late April. and because of web issues, several entries into the Final Four contest never got posted until today. So we had 8 entries, and the contest will go on