Sunday, February 22, 2009

With the Cathedral City (Palm Springs) tournament now concluded, I thought I'd evaluate how several of the nation's top teams acquitted themselves (teams listed alphabetically; ^ = the team's "stock" is rising; v = falling; <--> = holding pattern).

Alabama (<-->) -- Went 4-1, including a win over Oklahoma (by a 4-3 score), with the loss to UCLA (4-1). Not bad, but a team aspiring to No. 1 will be held to high standards!

Arizona State (v) -- Lost three games in the tournament, to Florida (an 8-2 blowout), Oklahoma (8-6), and UMass (1-0).

Florida (^) -- The Gators' record would have been perfect, but for an extra-inning loss to Washington.

Oklahoma (^) -- Would have been perfect but for a one-run loss to Alabama (4-3).

UCLA (^) -- Finished a perfect 5-0, including wins over 'Bama and UMass; the Bruin wins were generally achieved quite handily.

UMass (v) -- Went 2-3, with losses to Tennessee, UCLA, and Oklahoma.

Washington (^) -- Though the Huskies came into the tournament 9-0 and ranked No. 3 in the country, I was skeptical, due to strength-of-schedule concerns. Well, U-Dub leaves Palm Springs 14-0, including a win over Florida. The skeptic in me would still note that the Huskies' draw was not as tough as other teams'.