Monday, March 9, 2009

Hoop: It's Lonely at the Top, but that's OK

Yesterday afternoon, Claire and I went to a college basketball movie. In it, the home team was playing its last game of the regular season on Senior day against its long time rivals. The outcome of the game would determine the championship of the league. Only, this movie was real. UW faced WSU at 2:30 yesterday. If UW won, they would be the sole champions of the Pac-10 for the first time in 56 years. Yes, that's right, the last time they won it outright was with aBob Houbregs-led team in 1953.

Lorenzo Romar Celebrating

Photo taken by Jon Lock/The Seattle Times

Well, they did it in convincing and, by now, traditional UW Huskies fashion. Several of their regular high scorers, Isaiah Thomas and Jon Brockmann among them, did not chip in their regular contributions. As has been the case all year long, other players, notably Venoy Overton, Quincy Pondexter, Darnell Gant, and Justin Holiday, made up for the difference. Jon Brockman had his standard, solid game on the boards, taking down 18 rebounds. However he only scored 7 points, well below his average. That didn't matter too much though, as he was the presence we needed in the middle and Pondexter (16), Gant (6) and Holiday(4) took care of putting in the points. There have been games in the past where those three contributed in the single digits, not 1/3 of the team's point total.

I.T. also had an off day offensively, but Dentmon (12) and, more importantly, Overton (14) picked up the slack. J.D. is always reliable, but Venoy can be really streaky. He plays great defense, but doesn't always make such a substantial contribution on offense. Yesterday, he did and we needed every bit of it.

The game was pretty close the whole way with the Huskies usually in the lead, but generally by no more than 4 or 5 points. At halftime, they led the Cougars 30-25. The Cougs were able to trim it to 1 point with 11 minutes to go, but the Huskies battled back and kept the game just out of reach. With 2:22 left they were ahead by 4 and kept it there the rest of the way, stretching it out just a little to finish with 67 to Washington State's 60. A great win and a great season so far.

At one point in the second half, sunlight began streaming in the windows at the Huskies end of the floor and lit up the crowd in the upper half of the bowl. The lighting effect looked like it had been designed in Hollywood. It was very cool.

The Huskies will begin the Pac-10 tournament in Los Angeles on Thursday against either Stanford or Oregon State, both teams they have beaten in the past. Of course, you can say that about most teams in the Pac-10; the only one they didn't beat was Cal. Next Sunday is the NCAA Selection Sunday. Can't wait to see where UW ends up and how far they get in the Big Dance.

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I'm currently 60 years old. I currently work as the learning management system specialist for American University of Madaba in Madaba, Jordan. I was originally certified as a high-school English teacher and taught school for 13 years (1 year of substituting, 1 year of 7th grade, 2 years of a combined 5th, 6th, 7th grade, 9 years of 8th grade). I've worked for hardware and software companies for the past 23 years doing training, training materials development, certification test development and other education related stuff. My wife and I have raised four children to adulthood; some of them live at home at the moment, but that won't last (they're too independent for that). We live at home with 2 Golden Retrievers, 2 black cats, a crazy cat, and, during the winter, 70,000 coho salmon.