Play It Forward Feb. 29-March 6: Planting the Pac-12 seeds for USC, UCLA, with plenty of watering needed

THIS WEEK’S BEST BETS:

Oregon's Elgin Cook, center, and Chris Boucher, right, celebrate an 89-81 victory over USC with students in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Chris Pietsch)

Oregon’s Elgin Cook, center, and Chris Boucher, right, celebrate an 89-81 victory over USC with students in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Chris Pietsch)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL:
UCLA vs. OREGON
Details/TV: At Pauley Pavilion, Wednesday at 6 p.m., ESPN2
USC vs. OREGON
Details/TV: At Galen Center, Saturday at 1 p.m., Pac-12 Network

What’s the end game here for the Bruins and Trojans heading into the final weekend of the Pac-12 regular season?
On paper, all this does is solidify the seedings for the post-conference tournament (March 9-12). The saving grace for the Bruins (15-14, 6-10) is that all 12 teams get to play, and if they actually grind out a championship win by Saturday afternoon, no one can deny them a spot in the NCAA field of 68. For the Trojans (19-10, 8-8), the reality is they’re not as sure a bet for the bracketologists as much as they were, say, back on Jan. 22.
On that day, the headline actually read: “Cook helps Oregon upset No. 21 Southern Cal 89-81,” as 6-6 senior Elgin Cook had a career-best 26 points for the Ducks. Andy Enfield’s Trojans, who were 15-3 coming into that game, had been the conference’s best 3-point shoot team but shot just 8 of 26 from beyond the arch.
Oregon used that one, as well as an 86-72 win over Steve Alford’s Bruins two nights earlier behind Dillon Brooks’ 25 points, to jumpstart their run to the top of the conference standings and a No. 13 national ranking at the end of last week. That’s territory neither USC nor UCLA has been close to during the season.
Only two other Pac-12 teams have maintained a current Top 25 ranking – Utah, at No. 22, should rise after its win last Saturday over No. 9 Arizona – but remarkably, 11 of them still have a mathematical shot of a 20-victory season, and five are already there.
Just not the Trojans or the Bruins.
Also this week: USC vs. Oregon State, at Galen Center, Wednesday at 8 p.m., FS1; UCLA vs. Oregon State, at Pauley Pavilion, Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Pac-12 Network.

THE REST OF THE WEEK

The Kings and Ducks go at it again, this time at Staples Center (Saturday, 1 p.m., FSW, Prime Ticket) after each plays Montreal at home … Steph Curry plans what will probably be his final game on the same court with Kobe Bryant when Golden State visits the Lakers at Staples Center (Sunday, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7) … The Clippers and Oklahoma City have a Staples Center meeting (Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., ESPN) … Conor McGregor and Holly Holmes have the headlining attractions for UFC 196 (Saturday at Las Vegas, 7 p.m.) … Chino Hills (30-0) has Sierra Canyon (26-3) as the opponent in the CIF Southern Section Open Division boys basketball championships (at Honda Center in Anaheim, Saturday at 6:30 p.m., FSW) … More at this link.

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Sunday media: Lock ’em Dodgers, TWC, DirecTV up in a room … ‘and no one gets out until you grow up’

www.sportsbronze.com

www.sportsbronze.com

Public shaming, private ambivalence and all other kinds of agitated media verbiage have done so, so much to resolve this royally mucked-up distribution discussion involving the Dodgers, Time Warner Cable and SportsNet L.A.

Next up: A media-savvy intervention.

It’s been strangely quiet a month out from the start of the regular season and days away from SportsNet L.A.’s abbreviated exhibition slate of games — we’ll get to that later.

Has Think Blue TV Fatigue meant that no one’s talking?

“There are a lot of things we’d like to discuss, but our lawyers and business people say we can’t because it wouldn’t get us closer to a solution and would only inflame someone on the other side, so that’s why we don’t engage in a public war,” said Stan Kasten, the Dodgers’ president and CEO, this week from Glendale, Ariz.

“But not a day, including weekends and holidays, goes by where we are not engaged into in a discussion, a meeting or a memo related to this problem.”

We have more to offer at this link. …

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It’s Out of the Question: Measuring up the ‘Utley Rule’ slides around basic realities

0227_SPO_LDN-L-QUESTIONS-0227Wasn’t it Sam Cooke who first admitted: Don’t know what a slide rule is for?
Chase Utley might not know much about the history of breaking up a double play in baseball. Or know much about the geography of the “neighborhood play” at second base.
But try explaining the science, algebra and trigonometry used this week by Major League Baseball in crafting Rule 6.01(j) to a bunch of MLB graduate students.
For simplicity sake, this big-bang theory will go down as the “Utley Rule,” which is utterly “stupide,” if you pardon the French I took.
More at this link …

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Weekly media notes version 02.25.16: The song remains the same — Where art thou SportsNetLA? The ‘demand’ dept. is up to Year 3 and we come to seek solutions

This still pops up when you go to www.sportsnetla.com. Really?

This still pops up when you go to www.sportsnetla.com. Really?

What the plan is for Sunday’s media column:

We’ve hit the three-year milestone/hurdle in the launch of the Dodgers’ SportsNet L.A.
Happy Freakin’ Birthday.
To some, the channel is just a rumor.
Others are channeling their energy on better things.
This isn’t some magic trick that has been played on Southern Californians, some who have resisted changing their current provider and refuse accessing it by other legal means necessary.
IMG_5312(DirecTV will still send you monthly marketing updates begging you to come back. It’s OK. Be strong.)
The passive-aggressive aggravation about distribution and the latest round of insult that has to with the decision to cut in half the total number of spring training telecasts in March is the latest trappings.
All the hand wringing aside, how and when will a solution come about? We talk to some who have ideas about how to go about bringing everyone together and what viewers can do in the meantime if they haven’t already considered the obvious.

What’s worth posting now:

image1== Our recent updates on the recovery from quadruple heart bypass surgery for the Kings’ Bob Miller, and the rehab process in store for KNX’s Randy Kerdoon after his Super Bowl Sunday heart attack — aside from the fact they live four blocks apart from each other in West Hills.
“Hmmm. Maybe it’s something in the water around here,” said Kerdoon.
And it is apparently news that Miller may not come back this season, as KCAL Channel 9 notes. Just consider the source.

== College basketball on the TV radar this weekend:
= No disappointment by the fact Dave Pasch and Bill Walton have the call on ESPN2’s coverage of UCLA at Cal, Thursday at 6 p.m. Pasch and Walton also called Arizona-Colorado for ESPN on Wednesday and got some attention for references to dinosaurs. Saturday, Walton will also do Arizona at Utah (11 a.m., ESPN) but the play-by-play man is listed as “TBD.” Having a tough time finding someone who wants to work with Walton?
5105OBf1HYL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Also note: Walton’s latest autobiography, “Back From The Dead: Searching for the Sound, Shining the Light and Throwing it Down” (Simon & Shuster, 336 pages) is due out March 22. Walton told us about this book three years ago in this column.
= The Pac-12 Network’s Rich Cellini and Mike Montgomery are assigned USC at Stanford, Thursday at 8 p.m.
= FS1’s Joe Davis (the new Dodgers’ guy) and Steve Lavin call both UCLA at Stanford (Saturday, 1:30 p.m.) and USC at Cal (Sunday, 5 p.m.). And looking ahead to next week, Lavin joins Kevin Burkhardt on USC playing host to Oregon State at the Galen Center on Wednesday (FS1, 8 p.m.)
= TWC SportsNet has Steve Quis, Casey Jacobsen and Kelli Tennant on the broadcast of Pepperdine at Loyola Marymount (Saturday, 1 p.m.)

== CBS and Turner Sports announced Thursday morning that its Sunday, March 13 NCAA Tournament bracket announcement show will be expanded for the first time to two hours, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., on CBS (as opposed to the 3-to-4 p.m. window). Since TBS will be doing the Final Four and title game this season, the expansion allows for more of the Turner crew to be incorporated in the bracket show. Meaning, Ernie Johnson and Greg Gumbel will co-host from New York, and analysts Clark Kellogg, Seth Davis and Doug Gottlieb share the set with Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith. CBS has been doing the selection show since 1982, when it was simply a half-hour agenda before expanding to an hour for 2002.

== Coming up on the 50th anniversary of Texas Western’s NCAA basketball championship, CBS Sports Network has a one-hour doc, “Championship of Change” that will air Sunday at 9 a.m. It will include a panel discussion moderated by journalist Jack Ford, members of that ’66 team, historians and other guests, including an interview with Kentucky star Pat Riley. A clip, at this link.
Texas Western, now known as Texas El Paso (UTEP), hastened the full integration of college basketball when coach Don Haskins started five black players for the team that beat Kentucky and Adolph Rupp for the title.
Ten years ago, Josh Lucas starred as Haskins in a movie version of this story, “Glory Road.” Haskins died in 2008.

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Meanwhile, KNX’s Randy Kerdoon talks of his own heart attack and a warning to others

Randy Kerdoon, left, with wife, Marta, daughter Kelcie and, far right, Kelcie's friend Melissa at an Angels game. (twitter.com/KNXRandyKerdoon)

Randy Kerdoon, left, with wife, Marta, daughter Kelcie and, far right, Kelcie’s friend Melissa at an Angels game.(twitter.com/KNXRandyKerdoon)

Randy Kerdoon, the longtime KNX (1070 AM) morning sports anchor, spent Super Bowl Sunday in the West Hills Hospital ER.
All thanks to a heart attack.
Mostly, thanks to his wife calling 911.
It’s one of those cautionary tales you need to hear every now and then. We’ll let him explain.
kerdoon1First, the 60-year-old said he has chest pains on Saturday, Feb. 6. But he thought it was a muscle pull from exercising.
“I had tried doing push ups with my hands extended further out than shoulder length, hence the muscle pull theory,” he said. “However, I also felt it in my left bicep. I thought about the ‘what if this were a heart issue,’ so I went online and looked up the symptoms. I didn’t have a single one — certainly I didn’t have the shooting pain down the left arm and neck symptom.  So, I iced the muscle, the pain went away, and I went to bed.”
He said he woke up the next morning sore again, took an ibuprofen, and “it got worse instead of better. Then the ‘real’ heart attack symptoms arrived. Radiating heat in my chest and arm, intense pain, sweating, light headedness.”
His wife, Marta, called 911 and within minutes there were eight paramedics and fire fighters in his bedroom.
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