Where will they go from here?

First off, up here in Wisconsin, when we hit forty degrees at this point of the year, it's a big deal. So I thought I'd throw a little spring time lyrical blip to start things off…

All of your ways and all your thunder Get me in a haze running for cover Where we gonna go from here Where we gonna go from here

That is from Mat Kearney's song, "Where we gonna go from here." I noticed this song while I was watching a recent Grey's Anatomy. Yes, I'm not afraid to admit that I do watch Grey's Anatomy. I thought those things fit well into where the Cats currently stand. They could use a guy like Preston Burke or Derek Shepherd to revive their season which according to many is lost.

The Cats have three more regular season games, the Pac-10 tournament, and hopefully the NCAA tournament. They currently sit at 17-9 with a record of 8-7 in the Pac-10 conference. Sure, those numbers are way out of line in terms of the expectations that the Cats had on them at the beginning of the season. However, things can still turn around if you're a Cats fan.

Yes, some streaks have come to an end this year. Home losing streaks, largest margin of defeat under the Olson era, being swept by perennial doormats for the Cats all happened this year with possibly more to come. However, if the Cats do win their remaining three games, win a couple games in the Pac-10 tournament, and make a late run in the NCAA tournament, then some things will be forgotten…right?

Well, according to some, yes. According to others, no. Expectations for this team were to be playing in Atlanta. That can't be argued or debated against. It's what we thought, the media, and the Cats themselves thought. Here is a little look at the remaining games for the Cats, and what they need to do in order to meet those expectations.

ASU
The Sun Devils are oozing with joy and happiness after winning their first conference game last night against USC. I watched the second half of this game and was very impressed with the amount of heart & desire the Devils played with. Their defense was suffocating at times against a very talented USC, along with Derek Glasser and Jeff Pendergraph having outstanding games. Believe it or not, the Cats will have their work cut out of them. ASU will be playing with a bit more swagger and confidence under them, which could end up being a huge factor in this game. The Cats defeated the Sun Devils by 24 in their first meeting, but this game is on the road, and against a vastly improved Sun Devils team. Win this game, and things remain good for the Cats in terms of the NCAA tournament. Lose this game, and it could spell NIT for the Cats.

CAL
Perhaps the biggest "trap" game for the Cats on their remaining schedule is the game against the Golden Bears. The Bears were on a six game losing streak before sweeping the Oregon teams at home this past week, which is never an easy feat no matter how bad either team is. The Bears are a relatively young team with only three seniors on their team. They're led by freshman Ryan Anderson, who if it wasn't for Arizona's Chase Budinger, would probably be the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. Back in late December, the Cats had their way with the Bears, ignoring the final score. They held a 72-45 lead at the 13:08 mark in the second half, when Lute decided to call off the dogs. Still, like the Sun Devils, the Bears are improving with every game down the stretch, which could mean trouble for the Cats if they don't start taking pride in the small things along with yes, defense.

Stanford
It's no question that this is the most difficult game remaining on the Cats schedule. The Cardinal have improved all season long, but have been inconsistent while doing so. This is the team that swept the LA schools, turned around, and lost to Gonzaga, Washington, and Washington State. While losing to Washington State is no embarrassment anymore, losing to Gonzaga and Washington, who are both having mediocre years like the Cats, can be considered a low point. The Cardinal were led by Lawrence Hill, and the Lopez twins, which should be expected again during this game. This game will most likely have major implications on seeding in both the Pac-10 tournament and NCAA tournament, assuming both teams are still in the hunt for making the big dance.

Back in December, no one would've ever guessed that there would be this much pressure on the Cats at this point in the season, along with there being so much implications on these remaining three games. Talent wise, the Cats can be considered better than all three of their remaining opponents. However, as you've witness this year, talent only gets you so far…and so far, it's only gotten the Cats an 8-7 Pac-10 record, and a 17-9 record overall.

With eight days off in between their last game and the ASU game; let's hope Coach Olson and company don't need to revive the program with the help of some fake, t.v. doctors. Hopefully, they have the recipe themselves.


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