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January 19, 2009

(at UCLA 83, UA 60)
(at USC 65, UA 64)

We've now gone from basketball fanbase to support group.

You shouldn’t try to ignore traumatic events. You have to face the pain in order to begin the healing process. The therapy session starts now:

31.7 seconds remaining: After a miracle steal and two gift missed free throws, Arizona leads by one. Color commentator Bob Elliot ignores what he's seen all year and says the UA will get the final shot.

24.8 seconds remaining: Chase Budinger (83% free throw shooter) escapes a trap and passes to Nic Wise (89%). With Wise in the clear, with the shot clock off, and with USC needing to foul, Arizona takes a timeout.

With Zane Johnson (90%) and Kyle Fogg (76%) fouled out of the game, Arizona has to take the floor with Jordan Hill (62%), Jamelle Horne (60%) and Alex Jacobson (60%).

On the inbounds play Jacobson doesn't move (good), Horne runs away (good), Hill sets a screen for Wise (good), and Hill runs in front of Wise and takes the pass (ugh).

23.5 seconds remaining: Hill makes one of two free throws.

14.6 seconds remaining: USC hits a 15-footer to tie the game.

3.7 seconds remaining: After dribbling around and throwing it to no one, Wise throws it to no one.

1.2 seconds remaining: Horned.

Don’t you feel better now? Me neither. No wonder nobody likes therapy.

Would shock therapy help? It's as if every time Nic refuses to pass the ball to Chase in a tie game it triggers Jamelle’s brain to shut off.

They say bad teams find a way to lose. Well, here are the ways the Cats have found so far:

-Commit an intentional foul with 0.8 seconds left in a tie game.

-Lead for 39 minutes and 40 seconds before giving up a three and losing by one.

-Bad timeout, bad execution, bad shot, bad defense, bad pass, bad foul.

What do the Cats have against overtime? Did they form a union?

There’s no point in even commenting on the UCLA game. The new coach will be given the task of rebuilding a team that can challenge the Bruins. He’s going to need a lot of lumber.

Now the countdown begins to unlucky loss number 13. That’s the loss that will make 20 wins impossible which will signal the end the NCAA tournament streak. Just a half dozen defeats to go.

The rest of this year will weed out the casual fans. All the “I only follow the basketball team” people will suddenly say things like, “We sure looked good in the Vegas Bowl, huh?”

The rest of us need to stick together. Keep watching the games. Continue to use humor as a defense mechanism. Focus on attainable goals, like:

-Continue to play Zane enough to foul out.

-Develop Alex Jacobson. The 15 minutes and two jumpers against USC should help.

- Score 70 points in a conference game. Overtime counts.

-Ruin ASU’s dreams.

If your denial extended the entire weekend you may have suppressed the fact that the Sun Devils won at Pauley Pavilion. With Stanford beating Cal it puts ASU just a game out of first in their quest for their first ever Pac-10 basketball championship. That would be a rather unfortunate set of circumstances. So why don’t we do something about it?

The Devils obviously have the same league schedule we do so they’ve got the two toughest road trips out of the way. A 14-4 record may be good enough to win the conference this year so we can do some serious damage to their hopes if we give them a third loss this Wednesday. We’re at home and we’re desperate for something good to happen. What better than the hoops equivalent of knocking them out of the Rose Bowl?

Speaking of that most hallowed place, if the Arizona Cardinals can make it to the Super Bowl, the Arizona Wildcats can make it to the Rose Bowl. Right? Now we just have to hope the team doesn’t have to move twice to do it.

Sorry, I started ignoring the trauma again.

We sure looked good in the Vegas Bowl, huh?

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