It might not be the most breaking story of all-time, but the news is out: the San Antonio Spurs are in big trouble. After a lopsided loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, one in which they dropped by 39 points, the Spurs had hoped to bounce back with at least a competitive performance against the Houston Rockets. But the Western Conference Finalists had other ideas instead, putting the pedal to the metal and once again pounding their Texas rivals into submission. In the end, the Spurs had lost 136-105, making it the very first time they have ‘achieved’ the very dubious honor under coach Gregg Popovich, who has been their since 1996. With the loss to the Rockets, they find themselves in 14th place out of the 15 teams in the packed and ultra-tight Western Conference, something that has not happened since that same 1996/97 season just mentioned, a season that led to them drafting Tim Duncan. They will not want to end up being that bad at season’s end, but if they don’t fix their defensive woes soon, they might be starting off the selections at the next draft, or be close to it.
The first major Conference Championship game to play out took place on Friday night in the Pac-12 as the Washington Huskies took on the Utah Utes in a battle of two 9-3 teams in Santa Clara. With neither team able to move into the College Football Playoff, the game was all about who would represent the conference in the big bowl games to come. And it was a tight and tense one with only 13 points being scored all game long. In the end, it was the Huskies who won out, 10-3, after a contentious no-call at the end that saw the referees overlook a potential defensive interference as the Utes were driving. The only touchdown of the game came on a pick-six from Byron Murphy, essentially handing Washington its win on a night where its defense only allowed 188 total yards from Utah.
In college basketball, a decent-sized shock took place on Friday night as the Radford Highlanders, now 6-1, traveled to and defeated the mighty Texas Longhorns (now 5-2). It was very much a team game for Radford, who worked well defensively and kept Texas from scoring a ton of points. That’s always a great platform to build upon, and it meant they had a chance to win the game late on. That’s what Carlik Jones did when he drove to the basket with just over 24 second left, hit a lay-up, and then made his free throw after being fouled to give his team a 62-59 win that would hold up. Watch out everyone, the Highlanders are a force to be reckoned with!