With the Super Bowl in the rear view mirror and the NFL Labor talks too depressing, it's all about basketball right now. Loving the fact the Ducks have meaningful games in February and are clearly in the mix to make a run at playing above .500 ball and qualifying for the N.I.T. I know, I know, why not dream the dream and envision a run to the Pac 10 Championship and an automatic birth in the Big Dance. Feel free to think big. I'm focused on this 7:30 tip at Pauley against the Bruins. When the 2 met the 2nd game at Matt Knight Arena, Oregon didn't have Joevan Catron and got beaten on the scoreboard 67-59 and inside on the glass by a 35-26 margin. In that fateful 2nd half when the Uclans scored 43 points to pull away, their 300 pounder Josh Smith just played the bull in a china shop and had his way. Hopefully the return of Pac 10 player of the week, J.C will help alleviate some of those issues. We will speak with Ben Bolch who covers UCLA for the LA Times at 4:20.
Some great ball last night with North Carolina throwing a scare into Duke at Durham before the Blue Devils held on at the end. FYI...the oddsmakers were not sold on the heels despite their record making UNC a 10 point underdog.
The game of the night was in the Big East as lightly regarded Rutgers overcame a late 13 point deficit, converted a 4 point play with under a second left and took out 10th ranked Villanova 77-76.
For Blazer afficionados we'll talk with Ben Golliver who operates blazersedge.dot com. Very interesting times for Portland. Trade deadline is 2 weeks away and the return of both Brandon Roy and Marcus Camby pretty much imminent. Roy has practiced but apparently will not play this weekend. I'd anticipate more caution. Remember last year he underwent a surgical procedure on the meniscus in his right knee a couple of days before the playoffs started and incredibly returned for game 4. Turns out all admitted he may have come back too soon. Camby practiced with the team for about a half hour as he recovers from having his knee scoped. Don't expect to see him on the floor in Toronto or Detroit, maybe Wednesday at home versus the Hornets. Golliver joins us at the top of the 5 o'clock hour.