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Weekly Six Pac: Sincere Flattery

Tha Carter visits Tha Pac

NCAA Basketball: Oregon State at California Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

1, Jon Wilner is probably the most important journalistic voice on the Pac-12. We at the UWDP are... not. Nonetheless, Wilner has appropriated our Pac-12-in-review concept for his own weekly column. I cannot resist the temptation to get extremely meta with a ten-links-in-one start to the post. Plus, Wilner’s review starts with the great news of Ryan Grubb staying at UW over his offer from Alabama, so it’s good vibes up and down.

2. Did you know that Utah vs. UCLA is “one of the greatest rivalries in college gymnastics?” If you did, then you probably won’t learn much here. If you’re like me, you could learn that the #4 Red Rocks (not Utes!) edged the #5 Bruins over the weekend. I know nothing about the sport, but seeing a packed arena explode for a beam routine is a fun and different visual. As I always say, or perhaps am just now saying for the first time, you learn something new every week in the Six Pac.

3. The discontent around UW basketball continues to build, but it could be a lot worse. Take Cal, who is about to sink to its third straight 20-loss season and fifth in the last six years. Wyking Jones was an abject failure as the head coach in Berkeley, but Mark Fox has somehow produced even worse results. Write for California catalogues some of the historic lows that the team has suffered, including some truly horrific statistical outliers.

4. If I had a dime for every time Lil Wayne toured the Colorado football facilities, I would have [checks notes] one dime! In a move that I don’t recall happening under Rick Neuheisel, the Grammy winner visited Coach Prime and the Buffs last wee. Wayne is a die-hard sports fan and it never stops being funny to me to see the extra-extra-small rapper next to extra-large athletes. The video of his visit is another great example. Before anyone poo-poos the impact, keep in mind that this sort of promotion carries a cultural cache with Colorado’s potential recruits that does laps around what anyone has done at Colorado in generations.

5. Arizona men’s basketball looked like a national title contender at the start of the year. They had a bit of a swoon in early January with double-digit losses to Oregon and WSU. They have corrected course since that point with six consecutive wins. This weekend, they swept the Oregon schools at home with relative ease and they have now moved up to #4 in the national rankings.

6. The Wildcats are the highest ranked team in the Pac-12 but they still trail UCLA by a half game in the standings. UCLA also had a mini-slump with consecutive losses to Arizona and USC, but won a pair of home games against the Washington schools this weekend. The victories brought UCLA to 10-2 in conference. The final match-up with Arizona on March 5 is circled in Sharpie for those interested in the conference’s regular season title.