Team of the Week
Caltech (1-0): The Beavers defeated Occidental 46-45 on Tuesday to finish their regular season with a 1-13 record in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Oh, and the win snapped a 310-game losing streak in SCIAC play going back 26 years, to 1985. (The SCIAC, a Division III conference, features Pomona-Pitzer, the school where Gregg Popovich got his coaching start.) And Caltech is getting better at this basketball thing, having broken a 207-game overall losing streak in 2007. On the other hand, Kentucky doesn't have 31 alumni who have won the Nobel Prize, or 67 alums who have won the National Medal of Science or Technology.
The Vancouver Sun (Feb. 26)
Rolfsen, on the Caltech men's basketball team snapping a 26-year, 310-game conference losing streak: "The only people who can comprehend the magnitude of those numbers are Caltech students.''
Phil Jackson (LA Times, Feb. 24)
The first question Jackson faced during his pregame session with reporters was not about the Lakers or the trade deadline. It was about Caltech ending a 26-year losing streak in conference games Tuesday.
"Congratulations," Jackson said, smiling. "About time too."
Henry Abbott (TrueHoop, Feb. 23)
Caltech won a league game for the first time in 26 years. (Via College Basketball Nation Blog.) Great stuff. Couldn't be happier for Caltech coach Oliver Eslinger, who has been a friend of TrueHoop since he was back at M.I.T. (you may recall my linking several times to his blog "Doc's head games" -- he has a Ph.D. in counseling and sports psychology). A footnote (literally) to that game: Click that link above, and look for #22, a guard with his back to the camera as the final free throw is attempted. That's Collin Murphy. Met him on Sunday morning, and he's an Alaskan Packer fan, and as nice as can be. And here's the funniest damn thing: Look at his shoes. They're outrageous yellow Adidas. Now, in yesterday's bullets I linked to some video from a blogger game early Sunday morning. Look what I'm wearing: Outrageous yellow Adidas. Same exact pair! ESPN has restrictions on the kinds of gifts journalists can accept, and I take it seriously. When I happen into free sneakers -- even though the vast majority are below the value outlined by the policy -- I give them away. In this case, Adidas offered me some shoes. I had two pickup games to play in and no shoes. So I accepted them, knowing I'd use them for just a morning before finding somebody who'd want them. I wrapped up the final run of the morning in Caltech's gym, as Murphy walked in, and he just happened to be size 11.