While we all share frustration in our lack of NBA basketball and, to a lesser extent, NHL hockey, those who want to follow local teams during the gap between Seahawks and Mariners/Sounders seasons should keep in mind that Seattle is one of the few urban areas with two top-division NCAA college basketball teams -- the U.W. Huskies of the Pac-12 and the Seattle U. Redhawks of the Western Athletic Conference. Granted, both teams this season could serve as the textbook definition of "mediocre," with the Huskies at 14-12 and the Redhawks at a dead-even 12-12, but, let's be honest here: how many years would it take for a NBA expansion franchise (or, God forbid, the Bucks) to even reach mediocrity? If you're a die-hard basketball fan, it seems to me you would want to follow the highest-level local teams available, and the Huskies and the Redhawks, for the time being, are it.
At this time last week, both schools seemed to have their fortunes on the upswing, as UW rallied for a come-from-behind win over a quality Stanford team, 64-60, and Seattle U. scored a decisive win at conference-leading Utah Valley, 71-57. However, any momentum evaporated over the weekend, as the Huskies blew a 10-point first-half lead to fall at home to Cal, 72-59, while the Redhawks got blown out at Cal State Bakersfield by 83-65.
This week, the Huskies face a tough task, going on the road to Eugene for a Wednesday night matchup with the Ducks. Although UW came out on top in their prior match, 80-76, the Dawgs' poor performance in February suggests the return match might not be as favorable, with the oddsmakers installing UO as 10.5-point favorites. That match begins at 6:00 P.M., and will be carried live on ESPN2.
On Thursday night, the Redhawks are at the Key to take on Grand Canyon, whose 12-11 record suggests they're at about the same level as SU, but who boast a significantly-better conference record (7-3 versus 4-7). When the two met in Phoenix last month, Grand Canyon came out on top, 71-63, so the Redhawks will be gunning for revenge. The game, slated for tip-off at 7:00 P.M., will not be televised, but will be broadcast on KTTH-AM 770.
Following the Grand Canyon game, the Redhawks have the weekend off before resuming play against Chicago State a week from Thursday. The Huskies complete their own personal Oregon Trail with a game against the Beavers in Corvallis on Saturday at 1:00 P.M., which will be carried on the Pac-12 network. As usual, both UW games will be carried on KJR-AM 950.
If anyone wants to turn this into a gamethread, or start new ones in addition to this, feel free to go ahead. Midweek games are somewhat of a problem for me, due to having choir rehearsals as well as domestic chauffeur duty, so I'll be following most of the action via smartphone and the Yahoo Sports app.