Andy Katz: Loaded field at the 76 Classic

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Andy Katz: Loaded field at the 76 Classic

Post by RiseUP on Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:57 pm

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/columns/story?columnist=katz_andy&id=4688559

Portland (3-0)

What's at stake? The Pilots are coming off a seven-point home win over Oregon. The victory over the Ducks might be muted a bit by Oregon's loss to Montana. Still, it was a significant win and proves the Pilots are living up to their preseason hype of being a challenger to Gonzaga. Showing well in this tournament would do wonders for the Pilots' national profile, which has been dwarfed by Gonzaga, Saint Mary's and even San Diego of late. Portland's 17-point win over Seattle is looking better and better as Cameron Dollar's team now has wins over Weber State, Fresno State and at Utah.

Who's hot: Nik Raivio. The senior guard is averaging 19 points and nine rebounds. Yes, you read that right. The Pilots also are getting quality board work out of legacy big man Luke Sikma, who is pulling down 9.3 boards a game.

What will happen if the Pilots beat UCLA (Thursday 11 ET, ESPN2)? Well, Portland will be relevant nationally for quite some time this season. The problem is, there is no guarantee Oregon and UCLA will be in the NCAAs. Portland will definitely play an NCAA tournament team Friday, regardless of what happens with Butler or Minnesota. The team has three remaining true road games -- at Idaho, Nevada and Washington. Could the Pilots find themselves in the at-large pool come March?

Prediction: Portland could be an NCAA team come March, but at the very least should be in the NIT.


UCLA (2-1)

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Re: Andy Katz: Loaded field at the 76 Classic

Post by ShipstadPilot11 on Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:00 pm

WOOOOOOOOOO GO PILOTS!!!

We can't underestimate the importance of this Tournament.

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this lately, but it is a GREAT time to be a Pilot Fan!!!!

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Re: Andy Katz: Loaded field at the 76 Classic

Post by mattywizz on Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:34 pm

Wow, I don't think we have ever, in our wildest dreams thought of ourselves as a bubble team...unless he is referring to getting in as conference champs...either way!

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Re: Andy Katz: Loaded field at the 76 Classic

Post by ShipstadPilot11 on Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:39 pm

Fox's Goodman has us as a 12 and (presumably) an at-large this year in his pre-season (a step above random guesses) NCAA bracket. I (optimistically) think we have a decent shot at a bubble bid. A lot depends on the events that occur between now and 12/1.

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Re: Andy Katz: Loaded field at the 76 Classic

Post by mattywizz on Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:43 pm

I don't know, a 12 is as low as you can get for an at-large...maybe he is thinking champ. Although, 12 is the best seed, in fact I think 12s have a winning record over 5s in the past several years. Of course I would prefer a 1 (just throwing it out) but I would be more than happy with a 12.

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Re: Andy Katz: Loaded field at the 76 Classic

Post by onetouchfutbol on Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:48 pm

mattywizz wrote:Wow, I don't think we have ever, in our wildest dreams thought of ourselves as a bubble team...unless he is referring to getting in as conference champs...either way!

I've never thought of that as out of the question...especially as I watch other teams in the Pac-10 play.
I think that a win over UCLA and a split with Gonzaga U aren't out of the question this year. I don't see us beating UW at their place, but, I'll be at the game cheering for it all the same. The first question is which UCLA team is going to show up tomorrow night? The one that looks like a lot of bench players...or the one with well-coached overacheivers?

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Re: Andy Katz: Loaded field at the 76 Classic

Post by mattywizz on Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:57 pm

onetouchfutbol wrote:
mattywizz wrote:Wow, I don't think we have ever, in our wildest dreams thought of ourselves as a bubble team...unless he is referring to getting in as conference champs...either way!

I've never thought of that as out of the question.

Sorry, I wasn't very clear...I meant before this season.

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Re: Andy Katz: Loaded field at the 76 Classic

Post by Stonehouse on Thu Nov 26, 2009 12:08 pm

More from Katz today:

Portland athletic director Larry Williams said Oregon hasn't shown an interest in renewing its home-and-home series, which is ending after an eight-year run. Portland just beat the Ducks last week. Oregon State apparently isn't biting either, and there is concern that Washington, which concludes a home-and-home with the Pilots on Dec. 19, may not want to renew, either. The Pilots beat Washington last season in Portland. This is all a shame since the Pilots are becoming a quality opponent and a good power-rating team. The Portland-Oregon potential split is akin to the Washington-Gonzaga series. The Huskies don't want to do a true home-and-home anymore. This is a classic case where getting better ends up hurting quality nonconference scheduling.

And some nice words about Rev:

You might not meet finer folks than Portland coach Eric Reveno and Butler coach Brad Stevens. Two coaches who are solid people with seemingly loving, young families, run their programs the right way. Both are destined to keep their respective schools near the top of their conferences.

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Re: Andy Katz: Loaded field at the 76 Classic

Post by onetouchfutbol on Thu Nov 26, 2009 12:18 pm

Those are nice words. I noticed at the UP site that our Mid-Major ranking is up to #9 now. We have a top 10 Mid-Major program!
Here's the link to updated rankings:

http://www.collegeinsider.com/mmpoll/

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