Friday, January 23, 2009

Basketball squads prepare for stretch run

With their mid-season "hump" game coming up this weekend against Eastern Washington both the men's and women's basketball squads are preparing for a string of games that will likely decide their post-season fates.

The men will take on Eastern Washington this weekend in the Stott Center. The Eagles are a talented squad but seem to be playing inconsistent and outside of talented transfer Benny Valentine should not be able to run with the Vikings. Here's a shot of Benny being "educated" by former Texas Tech head coach Bobby Knight.After this weekends contest the Vikings play four of their next six on the road in the most hostile environments that the Big Sky can offer in the Montana road swing and then facing Weber State and Idaho State.

If Portland State can slide through that stretch undefeated, they will solidify themselves again as the conference's toughest team and likely claim the right to host the Big Sky Tournament again.

The women also take on the Eagles on Saturday and then face the Montana schools at home next weekend. It looks like the race for the Big Sky on the women's side will come down to either Portland State and Montana.

Both squads have looked dominant up to this point in Big Sky play. If the Vikings can get take the first matchup between the two teams they obviously have the upper hand heading into the stretch run of games.

Portland State fans could have the opportunity to cheer on both teams in the Rose City as they both vie for a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

On a different note, men's basketball beat writer pointed out a scheduling quirk that could keep the Vikings from hosting the Big Sky Tournament in the Rose Garden as they did last season.

The tournament, scheduled to be played during the second week of March, would have to work around the Blazers scheduled games that week on Monday and Wednesday.

It seems likely that the squad may just play earlier in the day, although that will probably screw up all the television contracts and such or that the tournament will be moved to Memorial Coliseum.

Or we could ask the Pilots if they mind sparing their gym for some championship level basketball...

Here's some food for thought links that taste way better than a student-run vegan cafe....

Statistical analysis that the Cardinals suck
. Or at least, the television ratings of Cardinals games suck compared to prior seasons. Of course these numbers dwarf any other sports playoff games.

The Week in Quotes from Football Outsiders...

I think we forget that The Oregonian has some pretty talented sports writers outside of Canzano and J Quick. Here is Mike Tokito's piece on Brandon Roy getting his jersey retired at Washington last night.

On to more depressing news of the NBA, Wally Szczerbiak's big contract apparently doesn't help him find clothes for a grown man playing in the league.

In other disturbing roundball news, Chris Tomasson has a story on the potential that 2010 could be remebered not as the year of Lebron James moving to New York, but as the year of the lockout... As in NBA lockout... Yikes.

And in a sad story it looks like Jefferson County in Kentucky will be making an example of a football coach who, allegedly, pushed his football players too far during the heat of a summer practice. Here is the story.