Thursday, February 21, 2013
Ramifications of Artis' absence
By Luke Lapinski
According to Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports, Dominic Artis will likely be out of the lineup again tonight when Oregon squares off with red-hot California. The talented freshman hasn't been able to play since Jan. 23 due to injury. Tonight will mark the eighth consecutive game he's missed.
Considering what's on the line, this news could affect a number of programs around the country. For one, the Ducks are holding on to the Pac-12 lead by the slimmest of margins. They're a virtual lock to snap their four-year NCAA Tournament drought, but winning the conference title sure would be a nice bonus. Arizona's just a half game back, however, and UCLA's not all that far behind either. Having Artis in place to run the show would certainly help at this key juncture.
It's not just Dana Altman's squad that gets impacted here though. If the Golden Bears can take advantage of Artis' absence and steal a win in Eugene, they'll do wonders for their chances at an at-large bid. Cal has won five of six -- including a victory over Oregon already -- and seems to be on the right side of the bubble for the time being. A sweep of the Ducks would be huge. And it's not definitely something the other bubble teams around the country want to see happen.