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Friday, October 14, 2011

It Is Up To "U" Of Portland

The great part about sports is that there is always another game the next day, your team is always in contention on opening day and the most important thing about sports it allows fans to DREAM about so many what ifs.

I even am even so certain about dreaming that somewhere in the country today there is somebody dreaming about Kansas City/Houston in the world series. I also am certain that a good friend of mine in Sacramento, Jim Jorgensen dreams everyday that NBA basketball will return to Sacramento. (It has been missing, even since Rick Adelman was fired as coach of the Kings). As a native Portlander, I am also dreaming that someday the Rose City, will have more than one major league team. (And yes I know before someone corrects me, Portland has soccer and even though it is a great game, fun for many, you can never call the MLS, major league, when players leave their teams during the season to play in other events and your referees are not even employees of the league).

But back to basketball, more specifically college basketball, which opens today for real with the start of practices and some creative marketing people trying to outdo each other by coming up with new ways to create a buzz about what use to be called "Midnight Madness". It is an exciting time for everyone who loves the college game and even more exciting we only have to wait 2 1/2 more weeks for the first games.

Since you already know, if you paid attention above, I am from Oregon, so please allow me occasionally in this blog to become a little provincial as I am going too today.

Keeping with my dream theme, I have forever dreamed ever since Portland State brought back basketball in 1996, that all four D-1 programs in Oregon would go to the NCAA tournament in the same year. Sometimes dreams do have a chance, sometimes is the key here. Is 2012 the year? I have not woke up yet, so I think it has a chance of happening, of which I probably will never have another dream like this again.

And in case you think my dreams are crazy, a little breakdown here.

In the last 10 days I have documented  that I feel strongly that both the Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers will go dancing in 2012. Dana Altman oozes with winning, what he did in his first year at Oregon as I documented in my last blog was nothing short of amazing, now he has some talent to work with and with his coaching, his players, I am calling the Ducks a lock for NCAA in 2012.

Continuing the trend, the Oregon State Beavers as I have noted over the past several months, have not been to the NCAA since 1990. For the first time in ages, they have some depth, an almost certain all Pac-12 performer in Jared Cunningham and a favorable schedule, to possibly win 24 games. And if they do win 24 games, the "Committee", which is alway looking for great stories to put in the NCAA, is not going to leave out the President of United States' brother-in-law.

Moving on to the Portland entries in the D-1 basketball.

Full disclosure, I have been following the Big Sky for so many years I can't remember. I have discovered if you have two high quality players you can win the Big Sky and Big Sky tournament and advance to the NCAA. My call this year is for the Portland State Vikings to go to the NCAA tournament. Speaking of two quality players the Viks have two potential first team Big Sky players in Chehalis Tapscott and Charles Odum. While everyone is picking Weber State to walk away with the Big Sky title, keep in mind that despite almost every year he has the league's best talent, Randy Rahe has really underachieved in Ogden as coach of the Wildcats. I think he is to a degree an overrated coach.

Ok, now we have three in the NCAA and for you math people out there, my dream is 75 percent complete. Now the big pressure, falls on the Portland Pilots. Of course as I have told you for months the Pilots have the best coach in basketball that hardly anyone has heard of in Eric Reveno. He has done some magical things with Portland and each year, he has been able to get more and more out of his players. Although this is predicted to be a rebuilding year, nothing surprises me from a Reveno coached team. And even though they might suffer a little in the pre-season with a very tough schedule, the Pilots do open at Gonzaga and I am dreaming of a big upset. And I am dreaming of an NCAA beth for the team from North Portland, something they have not accomplished since 1996, so your on notice Pilots, the pressure is on.

It is often that you do get a pretty good recap in your dreams, so my locks for the NCAA tourney are Oregon, Oregon State and Portland State. The theme here is let's go Pilots, let's go Pilots, please make my dream come true.

I know what your thinking and the answer is NO. I am not going to wake up from this one, I have waited so long in this state to see some good college basketball from our D-1 teams all at the same time, you can only wake me up in March.

emails to and follow on twitter @wchoops

Thank you for reading this always.

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