By Jeff Portnoy
Really hard to get too excited about the two remaining regular season games this week. Yes, it would be nice to get 20 wins ( we will), beat a top three team in Santa Barbara ( we might), and go into the Tournament on a small winning streak, but frankly, not much riding on these last two games. Hawaii will finish 4th, and the only mystery is which of three teams will finish 5th ( Cal Poly, Northridge or Fullerton). Each of these teams have 6 wins and really tough games to end the season. In fact, they only play the top four teams in the Conference, so who knows.
Lots of folks playing the who would we rather meet in the Round One game. Ok, so lets all play. If we beat Fullerton on Saturday, do we want to play them four days later. We just beat them there. How about Northridge or Cal Poly. We beat them here and lost to them on the road. We should have won the game at Northridge and we lost pretty badly at Cal Poly, but that was a different Mustangs team then. My vote. Cal Poly. How about your vote?
The bigger question is if we get by Round One, can we beat one of the better teams? So far, we have a single win at Irvine on a last second miracle three which sent the game into Overtime. After we lost at Long Beach last week, they went into Fullerton and got smoked. None of the teams is unbeatable. On any given night, almost every team in the Conference is vulnerable. That's why whoever wins the Tournament will be a 14 seed at best, likley a 15.
Meanwhile, the Wahine continue their extraordinary season. They are fighting for a top 2 seed, although 3rd is likely. Laura Beeman for Coach of the Year? She gets my vote.
Nationally, 9 teams in the top 25 lost last weekend. Are there really clear favorites to win it all? Arizona is back on track, Florida continues to win , but the SEC is not a very strong Conference this year, Wichita State is undefeated ( yes a tremendous feat, but who have they beat?), and my Dukies and Tarheels are coming on. Watch out for Virgina, Kansas?, Villanova, or my favorite team, Creighton
We will previewing the Big West Tournament on Sunday before I leave to broadcast the men and women's games with Bobby on ESPN 1420. I hope we get to do more than two games ( total).
These are my musings, not those of the Regents