I'll admit it, I'm a bit of a Pacific fan. I like the way they played us, both last year and this, and I am eager to see our former opponents succeed, to show others that our early season schedule was pretty darned hard. Pacific became ranked for the first time this week, and they had to defend their ranking by going to Utah State, where they had won just 2 times in 33. That's not a particularly pleasant way to end the week, and it certainly didn't look good for the Tigers, who were listening to jeers of "Over-Rated!" from the crowd, down 7 with less than a minute to go. Then the unthinkable happened.
The situation looked bleak for the 20-2 Tigers, who were listening to chants of "over-rated!" from the Utah State fans with less than a minute to go. The Aggies fans, who watched their 18-6 team beat No. 15 Utah in Logan by 26 points earlier this season, were feeling chesty.
"I think that fired us up," Maraker said.
Down 63-56, Pacific's Mike Webb made a three-pointer with 22.6 seconds remaining. The Tigers called timeout and set up their press, and Maraker made a steal that led to a second Webb three and a 63-62 score. After Pacific took its final timeout, Maraker fouled Utah State's David Pak with 11 seconds left.
Pak missed both free throws. Maraker rebounded and passed to Marko Mihailic, who looked for Webb but found him double-teamed. Instead he passed to Tyler Newton, who started to drive to the basket and saw Maraker all alone just outside the foul line. He zipped it to Maraker, who drilled the jumper with four seconds left. A half-court shot by Utah State was no good, and Pacific's winning streak was somehow stretched to 16 games.
I remember Duke's comeback against Maryland several years ago. I hardly feel even a 10 point lead is safe these days. A win like this could make Pacific very dangerous in the tournament, simply because they have more confidence going into the final minute of play (not unlike the Jayhawks, whoI feel will win any close game).