As Super Sunday dawned in Greater Seattle, sports fans rabid about pro football’s annual tribute to Roman numerals may have realized they first would need to dispatch a few matters pertaining to basketball.
There was the Washington Huskies men’s team prevailing over a Los Angeles rival for the second time in 48 hours and thus keeping their league-leading advantage going into a lot of challenging out-of-town encounters.
But college basketball seemed somehow secondary for those who read The Seattle Times. The main story above the fold on page one Sunday (Feb. 5, or Feb. V, if you’re Roman) was about the Sacramento Kings (nee Kansas City Kings and Cincinnati and Rochester Royals). If we know nothing else about the franchise, then, we at least could agree that it’s been well-traveled during its six decades.
Would its next incarnation be as the ... Seattle SuperSonics? The lengthy Times story and sidebar make the case that, yes, the struggling Sacramento franchise may soon move to Seattle and resume National Basketball Association play here by next season.
It would mean needing to endure for several years the bitter hardships of occupying KeyArena, which league commish David Stern has frequently disparaged as a facility seemingly not fit for middle-school dribblers. Meanwhile, property south of the city’s pro-football/soccer and baseball facilities would be developed by a Seattle-bred California zillionaire. The new building, for basketball and, perhaps, a National Hockey League franchise, would be palatial enough so that it might even come close to meeting Stern’s approval.
Seattle thus would join the few burgs that boast the Big Four of professional sports. But so much would need to happen for the above to become a reality that it’s enough to make one stumble back to the more pedestrian but reliable subject of college basketball.
Let’s note, then, that the Huskies, after Saturday night’s often unconvincing 69-41 home win against a diminished USC contingent, stand at 9-2 in league play, 16-7 overall in a quest to make it to yet another NCAA tournament. The remaining conference schedule seems at best unfriendly, with five roads games and just a pair at home prior to the league tourney that commences March 7.
If the Dawgs behave the way they did for the first 30 minutes against a pathetic (1-10, 6-18) Trojan program, they’ll be hard-pressed to keep their lead amid a Pac-12 top tier of good-but-not-great teams.
If, on the other hand, the Huskies play the way they did during the final six minutes against UCLA Thursday, they may yet prove to be the team of destiny during a season of inordinately weak league competitors. The Huskies stunned the Bruins with a late 16-4 run, winning 71-69 in a game that could’ve gone either way at the end.
The more recent effort, if that’s what it was during the initial three-fourths, featured repeated missed shots and opportunities, the Dawgs often looking as though they were trying to replicate the Trojans’ inability to score, rebound, and pass. The Huskies’ hustling final few minutes resulted in a respectable 48-percent field-goal-completion mark, seeming all the more impressive as SC players made just 29 percent of shots from the floor.
The men next play Thursday at Oregon, a veritable eternity from now for sports fans suddenly having to contemplate not just the Super Bowl but perhaps the resurrection of the SuperSonics later in the year MMXII.