We welcome again Invoice Walton’s ‘Convention… of Champions,’ the Pac-12, as a hoops behemoth (4 out of the Candy 16!)


Chevez Goodwin reps Pac-12 basketball with a throwdown against Kansas.

Chevez Goodwin reps Pac-12 basketball with a throwdown towards Kansas.
Picture: Getty Photos

The Pac-12 is enjoying like the perfect convention in basketball thus far on this 12 months’s tourney, and I for one couldn’t be happier about it. Perhaps it’s simply the native Oregonian in me that hates the shortage of respect that this convention will get within the sports activities world because of the drawback that the Pac-12 “After Darkish” moniker presents, contemplating they play after the east coast has gone to sleep, nevertheless it’s thrilling to see the convention kicking ass now on the large stage of the Huge Dance.

Heading into the Candy 16, the Pac-12 has 4 representatives left — No. 6 USC, No. 7 College of Oregon, No. 11 UCLA, and No. 12 Oregon State. All 4 groups received by double digits within the Spherical of 32.

Oregon regarded like a powerhouse on the defensive aspect of the ball, and had been throwing down monster dunks on seemingly each different possession, kicking the bricks off of No. 2 Iowa 95-80 (and so they took their foot off the fuel late). USC buried Kansas, handing them their largest loss within the males’s tourney in class historical past, 85-51. Oregon State, who was picked to complete final within the Pac-12 and went on to win the Pac-12 championship, upset No.4 Oklahoma State, 80-70. UCLA did what they need to have achieved and despatched No. 14 Abilene Christian house, 67-47.

Gonzaga is getting all of the love for his or her dominant, undefeated run, and so they completely deserve it. It’s going to take a monumental effort for any group to greatest them this 12 months with their absurd effectivity. They averaged 92.1 factors per sport and shot 55 p.c from the ground in the course of the common season, each main the nation. Watching them, it looks like they’ll do no matter they need. They’ll play from the submit, the ball is continually shifting, they discover the appropriate shot, and also you assume it’s entering into every time they let it go. They’re a terrifying group, led by annoyingly gifted ahead Drew Timme, who’s presently rocking a disgusting moustache/headband combo.

I suppose once you go for 30 factors, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, and a block, you may look nevertheless you need to look.

One in all these Pac-12 groups might need the perfect odds left to take down Gonzaga after a barely uninspiring exhibiting by Michigan final night time. Perhaps it’s all of the moss. Or the pine timber. Or the mushrooms — in any case, as Pac-12 legend Invoice Walton as soon as stated (when he wasn’t grunting like a beaver), “I’ve discovered that mushrooms solely provide help to.” How will you argue such logic?

The Pac-12 has proven up and stolen the present on this event, hopefully incomes the respect that they deserve. Talking of respect, there have been these two birds that perched themselves on the rail outdoors my condominium for like two hours the opposite day. I simply sat and watched them and marveled at their peace, sipping my espresso whereas listening to the Grateful Useless, channeling my internal Walton. I checked out them and deeply contemplated whether or not or not these two birds had ever been to a volcano. Anyway…

The Pac-12 will proceed its run to glory within the Candy 16 this weekend, and sadly one squad should go house — Oregon and USC will face off in what feels extra like a soccer matchup than a basketball one, which can make for excellent theater. Oregon State will get Loyola Chicago, and UCLA will dance with Alabama. The Pac-12 has solidified themselves as soon as once more as a basketball convention. Hopefully this 12 months’s exhibiting will solely assist their recruiting course of going ahead.

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