Dime will be in the building all week for the 2012 Pac-12 basketball tournament to bring you updates on the epic media margarita glasses, the best crowd chants and of course, all of the hoops action.
I admit that I do silly things when I travel. To reach the Pac-12 Tournament, I woke up at 4 a.m., chugged a Red Bull and drove from Phoenix to Los Angeles with only a single pit stop to fill my gas tank. The final two hours of the seven-hour journey were spent in mind-numbing, stop-and-go L.A. traffic. I almost crashed like 10 times.
So when I finally reached Staples Center, to say I was a little tired was an understatement. Yes, I do realize that the Pac-12 is not a good basketball conference at the moment, and I know its tournament can’t compare to the likes of the Big East Tourney in Madison Square Garden. But at the end of the day, basketball is basketball.
Perhaps my sense of humor was fading after the long drive. I laughed out loud when the public address announcer gave detailed instructions to only a couple hundred people in the stands of how to safely exit the arena in case of an emergency. I was also stoked about the Staples Center buffet. By the way, I’m sure as the bad teams are eliminated, these updates will be more about hoops and less about buffets. Anyway, on to the games.
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Oregon State (9) 69, Washington State (8) 64
UCLA (5) 55, USC (12) 40
Stanford (7) 85, ASU (10) 65
Colorado (6) 53, Utah (11) 41
Best of the day
Stanford freshman guard Chasson Randle twice reached his career-high of 24 points in the regular season. On Wednesday, he decided to take it to another level. The 6-foot-1, 170 pound guard nearly outscored the entire Arizona State team in the first half, dropping 27 points to the Sun Devils’ 30 en route to a 85-65 victory for Stanford. Randle finished with 30, but how he got there was more impressive. He went 7-of-11 from the floor, 6-of-8 from the three-point arc and hit 10-of-12 free throws.
Worst of the day
Pac-12 commish Larry Scott wouldn’t tip his hand when asked, but word on the street is that the Pac-12 Tournament might be moving to Las Vegas next year. While that sounds fun, it sure could have come a year sooner. In the first half of the evening’s second game, USC shot 29.6 percent to UCLA’s 23.3 percent from the field, which led one reporter to gasp, “I think I just threw up in my mouth” upon viewing the halftime box score. A few of those really yardstick, hourglass-shaped margarita cups could have made that half a little more bearable. Anyhow, here’s to Vegas in 2013 (holds up Dasani water bottle).