Power shift goes unnoticed in rivalry

first_imgIt sounds like a mad lib.The upstart (adjective) USC men’s basketball team (typically inferior proper noun) walloped the miserable (depressing adjective) UCLA men’s basketball team (proper noun synonymous with Goliath) Saturday at Pauley Pavilion (above noun’s preferred location) by 21 (ridiculously large number) points.Except this isn’t a mad lib. This is real. Yet, you wouldn’t know it.Lost among the ogre amount of commotion and noise made by the USC football program last week was a landmark victory by the university scapegoats ­— the basketball team.For a program that has been beaten to a pulp by the athletic department and national media for a scandal that the new coach and no current players were a part of, it’s only fair that the team gets some positive attention.That moment came Saturday night, when the Trojans took down the basketball powerhouse across town that has won three out of the last four Pac-10 regular-season championships — at their palace. That’s not all: The 67-46 victory was the largest margin of victory for the USC basketball team over UCLA since Winston Churchill resigned as prime minister.Any other year, this would be the front page story of the sports section of the Los Angeles Times and Daily Trojan.This would get national attention as a monumental upset and tremendous, resume-boosting victory for the Trojans. There would be talk about USC’s RPI and a spot on the “bubble” during bracketology conversations. Heck, some people might be calling for them to be this year’s surprise Sweet 16 or Elite 8 team.But this isn’t any other year. Two years after the departure of the player the entire athletic department bowed-down to, O.J. Mayo’s presence is still felt. Because of violations in his name, the school suspended the basketball team from any postseason play this year.This means that any chance USC had of defending its Pac-10 tournament title, becoming this year’s “Cinderella team” and providing a memorable lasting experience for seniors who have more than earned it — senior guards Dwight Lewis and Mike Gerrity among them — is thrown out the window because of actions of which they had no part. In fact, the main characters in this sad story face no repercussions and are making millions in the NBA; see Tim Floyd and Mayo. For a team that was predicted to finish last in the Pac-10, it did not need to be kicked while it was down.So, with no postseason to play for, there are two main goals for this team to aspire to: beat UCLA and win the Pac-10 regular-season championship. Even though UCLA is having a major down year, beating the Bruins is still considered a big feat in USC basketball — especially when that victory comes at Pauley Pavilion.Which is why the Trojans’ victory over UCLA should have made more than a blip on the radar.Except, out walked Pete Carroll, in walked Lane Kiffin, and all hell broke loose at Heritage Hall last week, keeping us from one of the best feel-good stories this year.You don’t want to call the USC men’s basketball program a feel-good story? Sure, they committed some major sins in the past and are paying for them now. Sure they just beat a very mediocre, sub .500 team, which is hardly a cause for celebration.These, however, are the reasons to invest in the basketball team. They didn’t just beat a .500 team, they beat UCLA in a defeat that didn’t sit well with the Westwood school’s head coach.“I’m embarrassed for our team,” UCLA coach Ben Howland said after the game. “I feel embarrassed for the program, for the former players and coaches. That’s all you can say, it was embarrassing.”If the Trojans could get a quote like this from every opposing head coach, that would be a victory in and of itself. To get it from UCLA’s head coach, that’s the ultimate compliment.Also, with the postseason bans in place, the team has no postseason to play for and could easily have rolled over and quit on the team, their coach and each other. Only, they didn’t.Even though their season ends March 6, they are playing with the heart and soul of a team fighting for a championship. Nobody would blame them if they lost the rest of their games. Some people might even expect that.No, this team is playing for the chance to do something that has never been done in USC men’s basketball history — win a Pac-10 regular-season championship.There was a groundbreaking victory for the USC men’s basketball team last Saturday, and there will be some inspiring basketball played at the Galen Center this week.Too bad nobody is paying any attention.“Spittin’ Sports” runs Wednesday. To comment on this article, visit dailytrojan.com or email Kenny at klegan23@gmail.com.last_img read more

AP Poll, you haunting oracle of truth

first_img@BadgerFootball is class all the way. There’s a reason Kalani tries to pattern his program after you guys. Awesome game! Good luck the rest of the season. Go take that B1G Ten Title!— мιѕтєя ¢ (@codythemac) September 16, 2018After I saw this one, I truly thought someone was screwing with me. I mean, when I think of the combination of college football fans (not exactly noted sweethearts) and Twitter (@realDonaldTrump), this is not the message I expected to be getting.All of that being said, the main reason I’d recommend BYU to be your gloating-team-of-choice, is that there is something truly satisfying about knowing your conquerors aren’t having sex.This week the Badgers are all the way down to No. 18 in the poll. I must now believe that they are in fact, exactly the eighteenth best team in the country, as it is written. Last week was a very different era.We have all changed so much during this time. I myself was foolish, immature and so, so naive. Why it was just mere days ago that I doubted the infinite wisdom of the AP Poll? Ah, how the turntables.After the AP Poll dropped the Badgers in the rankings after consecutive victories, I thought it was ridiculous — short-sighted even. It seems funny to say now. Little did I know that it was I who was being short-sighted. How ridiculous I was being to doubt the all-mighty AP Poll and its prescience.I continued my short-sightedness all the way up to the last moments of Saturday’s game. In fact, here is my Tweet from @BHeraldSports right before Gaglianone was to miss that fateful kick. It was picked up by BYU fans everywhere and absolutely lambasted for hours. If only I had heeded the signs of the AP Poll.There is, however, a bright spot. If I may be so bold as to hand out advice for being on the receiving end of gloating from a college football fanbase, and I feel I am well qualified in this regard, I would highly recommend that team be BYU. First off, they are, for the most part, incredibly gracious winners.Big BYU fan here, but I feel for that kid. That’s a rough go. Best of luck and go win the Big 10!— Uncle Maui (@DavidFiso) September 16, 2018Thank you, Uncle Maui, like the tropical Hawaiian island you are named for, you bring rays of sunshine and warmth even in these times of darkness.Hell of a game @Wisconsin. Good luck on the rest of the season.— Y are you the way you are? (@matticus1619) September 16, 2018Two things to take away from this one besides from the sincerity:I was sort of shocked by the use of the “H-E- Double Hockey Sticks” there by a BYU supporter, but nonetheless thankful for the sentiment.“Y are you the way you are?” is a name that hits a little to close to home at this point.last_img read more

Syracuse comes back, down 2 sets, to beat Iowa State 3-2

first_imgThe Orange controlled the lead thereafter. They went up 12-11 and won the fourth set 25-21 on another Ebangwese kill. The fifth set was almost all SU. Syracuse ended on an 8-3 run to win 15-9. Once again, Ebangwese recorded the set-ending kill.Despite the hot start for Iowa State, and the cold one for SU, both teams finished with similar hitting percentages. SU got their percentage up to .202 on the match while the Cyclones’ fell to .236.Ebangwese led the way for the Orange with 15 kills while redshirt senior Amber Witherspoon and sophomore Yuliia Yastrub both had 11. Freshman Polina Shemanova, who before the game was on a streak of four straight 20 or more kill games, recorded eight.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse’s next game will be its home opener as the Orange start ACC play against Georgia Tech on Friday at 7 p.m. Comments Published on September 16, 2018 at 4:29 pm Contact Eric: estorms@syr.edu In the third game of Syracuse’s (4-4) three-game weekend, SU defeated Iowa State (7-6), 3-2, after coming back from two sets down. The win comes after the Orange beat Wyoming in five sets Friday and dropped a match to Iowa in five sets Saturday.In the first two sets Friday, Syracuse struggled. The Orange recorded a sub .100 in each set, while Iowa State hovered above .300, winning the first and second sets 25-18 and 25-16, respectively. The Orange improved in the third set. It traded the lead with the Cyclones until the score was tied, 20-20. A big kill by senior Santita Ebangwese gave SU a 21-20 lead and SU hung on to win the set 25-22. Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more