To borrow from a guy who personifies California, the UW Husky men'ês basket-ballers must feel lucky today. Clint Eastwood may not know it or care, but the Dawgs have defeated the other three remaining Pac-10 tourney competitors, all from the Golden State, four of six times this season. But for a last-second tap-in Jan. 21 at UCLA, the Huskies would be 5-1 versus the Bruins, Cal and Stanford, the latter their opponent tonight (March 12) after a come-from (way) behind 59-52 win against Oregon State during the late hours of Thursday.
The Beaver defeat leaves the UW at 22-9 going into the Friday Stanford game. The Dawgs beat Stanford both times this year by a total of 50 points. And, of course, given the illogic of sports, the perverse conclusion that follows from such dominance is that the third match might be close — might even oust the Huskies from the tournament and deny them a chance to play either Cal or UCLA Saturday for a guaranteed ticket-punch to the national basketball tournament: the NCAA, not the NIT.
Stanford already has done the Dawgs an enormous favor. Thursday the Cardinal improbably eliminated Arizona State both from the Pac-10 brackets and a chance to get tapped for the NCAA tourney. One could envision a scenario in which the Huskies would advance to the nationals even if they beat Stanford and then lose to favored Cal. That would leave them at 23-10 with just three losses in their most recent 13 games.
In the meantime, the clock seems to be standing still for Dawg mentor Lorenzo Romar.
After the late-night Thursday victory the coach said: "The beauty of tournament play is that we have time to get together, get rested and get ready to play tomorrow."
Uh, coach, if you got up when I did this morning you had perhaps 14 hours until tipoff. You must feel really lucky about this Stanford game.