It's been less than 6 weeks since I'm watching Charles Barkley on TNT telling NBA fans he thinks Portland is as good as any team in the West. This morning on 2 different national radio shows talk used a mocking tone to try to determine which was a worse draft pick, Sam Bowie in 1984 or Greg Oden in 2007. With a head coach on the pretty warm seat to manage just 7 points in the 1st quarter last night is a train wreck. They showed some resolve with a 36 point outburst in the 3rd but merely put off the inevitable as they never cut the deficit to single digits. This team won their first three games of the year. On Valentine's Day they were just a game above .500 but have split the last 4 to remain right there. A loss to the Spurs at home tonight sends them into the All Star break at 17 & 17. As we speak the Blazers are 9th in the West which of course makes them a post season spectator. They miss the playoffs, no question Nate McMillian is gone. They sneak in as a lower seed and get run again in round one and he's gone. 32 regular season games left to sort this out or it's back to the drawing board for a franchise who has failed to advance in the playoffs since the Spring of 2000.
The first night of the week might have the title "Big Monday" but today is way larger on the college hardwood. Ohio State is in bounceback mode after falling at Ann Arbor to a Michigan team who has yet to lose at home. Buckeyes square off with the very disappointing Illini to get the evening rolling at 4pm on ESPN. The Deuce brings us a team I think can cut down the nets, Missouri. They're home for Kansas State Tigers must avoid that "look past" trap with a trip to Phog Allen Fieldhouse to play Kansas, in essence for the Big 12 regular season. The 6 o'clock game on ESPN is top ranked Kentucky in Starkville for Mississippi State. Since losing their lone contest at Indiana back on December 10th, the Cats have elevated above everyone. Of the 18 consecutive wins, just 4 have been by single digits. They've only allowed more than 70 points once over the roll.