One of the joys of sports is a team does not have to put forth a perfect, or even superb effort to win certain games. They have to play hard but the execution and overall performance doesn't have to be at an A or even B level for victory. That said, certain elements are a recipe for disaster. Take last night's Cal win at Oregon. Over the final 24 minutes of action, the Golden Bears outscored the Ducks 57-31 reversing a 16 point deficit that existed with just 4 minutes remaining in the 1st half. Cal committed just 3 turnovers in the 2nd half. They hit a sizzling 62 1/2 percent from the field in the 2nd half. Oregon missed 9 of 11 three pointers in the 2nd half, many of them clean, open looks. The Ducks turned the ball over 8 times in the 2nd half including a couple of killers in the final 3 minutes by EJ Singler. By the way, to the crowd chanting USA USA at Cal's Jorge Guitierrez, you get "ignorant" stamped on your forehead and have to wear it for a month. The kid is from Mexico, not a member of Al Qaida dumb asses. I know it's primarily students, but classless in any case.
How about USC taking down Arizona? Heck of a defensive effort by the Trojans, limiting the Cats to just 28 & 29 points in each respective half. They held the best player in the Pac 10, Derrick Williams to just 8 points, well below his 21 a game average and yes, it was his lowest output of the season. With UCLA dusting Arizona State the Bruins are now just a game behind the U of A in the league standings. We catch a break with the Uclans hosting Arizona at 1pm tomorrow on Fox Sports Net. Yay for we fans!
What the heck got into Oregon State? These guys haven't been able to throw it in the ocean in recent weeks. During the streak where they lost 7 of 8, they shot above 41% just once. In beating Washington they hit 44%. Otherwise it's been horrible like 31% against Stanford, 32% in the Cal defeat and 33% in the 8 point loss to UCLA 12 days ago. They've been even worse from 3 point land. Last night at Gill, 61.5 percent!
On the big shows today, a recap of what went down at the Matt, the conference and national picture, some NBA, our usual digressions, your calls and to wrap CrunchTime in the 3 o'clock hour, the Lightning Round. One more item, at 4:20 a chat with Oregon senior stud Joevan Catron.