04.Mar.2010 Washington State @ Gill & The Coca-Cola Classic
Basketball| I expect the Beavers to win this game for two reasons:
1. The Beavs have done a great job of neutralizing the best player on the court (this player is always on the opposition; the Beavers never have the best player). It’s a smart tactic that they do well, and this bodes poorly for Klay Thompson.
2. The chance to finish .500. With a win tonight the Beavs will be playing Saturday for a chance to qualify for the NIT and finish even on the year.
As you can see, the Beavers have both the motivation and strategy needed to win this game, and those two things win college basketball games. The only way they lose this game is if they go outside the moment and look ahead to Saturday. The home crowd should help them maintain focus. Beavs by 6. Also, how is this game not on television? Washington State and Oregon State need to figure out a way to get their matchups on TV. Got snubbed in football, now this. It’s 2010, guys.
Baseball| The Beavs, currently ranked #10 in the nation, begin the Coca Cola Classic versus UC Riverside. In that game they hold a 10-3 advantage right now, but Kevin Rhoderick is in the game, so hold your breath. The opening game is an appetizer, with the main course served tomorrow versus #2 Arizona State. After that, a dud of a team in Utah State and then the ever-feisty Cal Poly. OSU should take 3 games in this tournament. Anything less is a disappointment. My feeling is that, while the Beavers have nice pitching, it’s still not elite. Arizona State will rack up somewhere in the 7 run area versus these guys and tantalize Beav hitters enough to come out with a win. Think something like 7-3, Sun Devils.
Note: It’s interesting that Pat Casey put KRhod in this game with a huge lead; he’ll be forced to use a different closer tomorrow in what he clearly views as a more important game. Smart move, and don’t think for a second it’s not calculated. Rhoderick, as is his wont, dominated the no-pressure-7-run-lead situation and padded his stats. This makes it difficult when apologists like myself want to wax criticism–we have to contend with his great numbers. I don’t like this player, as you can probably see, so I’ll be following the guy closely and exposing him for the fraud that he is.