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.
*** *** ***
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).
In Oregon State’s win victory over Washington State, guard Jared Cunningham and his 18.2 points per game got his talents Monstarred all the way to Moron Mountain. Cunningham scored just four points on 1-for-8 shooting. But it’s all good. The Beavers won 69-64, and we got a little humor from Michelle Obama‘s bro after the fact.
“If you had told me that was the line and we got a win,” OSU coach Craig Robinson said, “I would wonder what drink you had before we got started.” A Fat Tuesday-sized margarita, perhaps?
Faces in the crowd
Gary Payton and A.C. Green sat courtside for Oregon State’s 69-64 victory against the Washington State Cougars. Green was decked out in orange and black Beaver sweats while Payton just went with all-black sweats and clean, all-white sneaks. And like his playing days, The Glove never stopped jawing, at one point yelling “Get him the ball!” to the OSU guards when referring to forward Devon Collier. They did, and Collier scored. Gary Payton is always right.
Eyes and ears
The Colorado Buffaloes easily had the best traveling section in Day 1 of the Pac-12 Tournament. They even had a large face cutout of Cartman from “South Park” to rep their state in a 53-41 win against the Utah Utes.
Meanwhile, America can’t really get enough of LMFAO. I don’t know if that’s necessarily a good thing, but I sort of dig Oregon State’s band playing a rendition of “Party Rock Anthem.” After the only upset of the night against No. 8 seed Wazzou, the No. 9-seeded Beavs are still shufflin’.
Who will win this tournament?
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