Sunday, March 9, 2014

2014 WCC Tourney: Time for BYU to Dethrone the Zags!

Anson lays it up and in against the Zags in Provo
March Madness has begun! We're down to the final 4 teams in the WCC Tournament: Gonzaga, St. Mary's, San Francisco, and BYU. The semi-finals are tomorrow evening, followed by the championship on Tuesday. I'm getting new cable installed at my apartment on Tuesday morning... everyone pray for me that it goes off without a hitch because I CANNOT miss that game! I have a cautiously good feeling about BYU's chances of winning this...

Santa Clara came super close to beating Gonzaga last night. I watched about the last 10 minutes or so, and I was vacillating back and forth the whole time about who I actually wanted to win. The game was tied with 9 seconds left, and David Stockton managed to take it all the way across the court to sink a layup with 1 second left. With all their timeouts gone, Santa Clara just had to throw up a half-court prayer that didn't go down (I had brief flashes of the Dellavedagger... which would have been kind of sweet, I must admit, but it didn't happen). The Zags won by 2.

Of course, if BYU doesn't win the tournament, we need Gonzaga to win it, so another team doesn't steal an auto-bid to the NCAA and risk knocking BYU out of an at-large. I kind of wanted Santa Clara to win last night, just because it would increase BYU's chances of winning the tourney. But since the Zags did win, I hope they beat St. Mary's tomorrow because I'd rather have BYU play against Gonzaga than St. Mary's in the championship, if, of course, the Cougs can make it past San Francisco first.

Quadruple team on Tyler? No prob.
The Cougars were ahead of LMU almost the whole game yesterday, but it still wasn't very pretty, and I didn't breathe easy until the clock was almost gone. They didn't make a single 3-pointer, which was really aggravating. Their rebounding wasn't as good as it should have been, either. Kyle Collinsworth had a great game, though, easily nailing a double-double. Anson Winder added 16 points, and Tyler Haws scored a quiet 22. I'm amazed at how he is able to do that game after game. I'm hoping the guys can shake it off and step it up because playing San Fran definitely isn't going to be a cakewalk-- they will need to play much better than they did yesterday to beat the Dons for a 3rd time this year.

I definitely like the new starting lineup with Anson and Luke Worthington. It has prevented them from falling behind too early and keeping Eric Mika out of foul trouble. He has been struggling a little bit off the bench, though-- he needs to work on playing aggressively without committing stupid fouls (I did a figurative facepalm on his behalf a few too many times yesterday...)

We've got a lot of momentum right now-- beating the Zags at home was awesome! It was definitely the game with the most energy from the crowd this season. It was also nice to easily beat Portland in the last home game of the season-- Matty's 3-point spectacle was the perfect revenge for Bobby Sharp's hot shooting in the 3OT game earlier this year.

Tyler Haws was interviewed on BYU Sports Nation on Thursday, and he agreed to moonwalk on the Orleans Arena court if they win the tourney on Tuesday. That would be hilarious-- I want them to win even more now!

That episode of BYU Sports Nation was also quite the embarrassing moment for me... Spencer Linton & Jarom Jordan apparently think I have a "huge crush" on Tyler Haws, which I will neither confirm nor deny. Here's the video and the audio-- they talk about me at about 26:10 and 40:00 on the video or 23:45 and 35:30 on the audio-only version. I must admit it's pretty funny, as mortified as I am by the whole thing. I may as well milk it, right? At least I got a "favorited" Tweet out of Tyler from it.... haha.

I did have contact with Jimmer the night before his 52-point thrashing of New Mexico in 2011, so maybe I'm good luck? I do hope Tyler has an equally awesome performance on Tuesday night. The Zags have been at the top of the conference for far too long, and BYU hasn't won their conference tourney in 13 years-- it's time! But of course, we've gotta get past San Francisco first. Come on, boys, let's win this thing!!!

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