If the UC Irvine men's basketball team, which won the Big West Tournament title game Saturday and the Anteaters' first NCAA bid since becoming a Division I program 38 years ago, continue their dream season by knocking off heavily favored Louisville this Friday, perhaps that will crack the top 10 list of 2015 greatest sports moments in the Los Angeles/Orange County region.
Because it sure ain't easy to make the list from this side of the Orange Curtain.
For 2014, we're represented by only one major shining moment–waaaay down at No. 9.
The region's top 10 sports moments of 2014, as determined by online votes of fans and an 11-member blue-ribbon media panel empowered by the Los Angeles Sports Council, were announced at the 10th annual LA Sports Awards at The Beverly Hilton Sunday night.
Read it and weep, Orange County:
1.) The Los Angeles Kings win their second Stanley Cup in three seasons.
2.) Clayton Kershaw wins National League Cy Young and MVP awards.
3.) California Chrome wins the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.
4.) Landon Donovan sets Major League Soccer scoring record, selected All-Star Game MVP and retires as a champion.
5.) Gracie Gold wins the U.S. National Figure Skating Title, followed by Olympic bronze in Sochi.
6.) Los Angeles Galaxy win MLS Cup.
7.) Steve Ballmer buys the Los Angeles Clippers.
8.) Anaheim Ducks play the Kings at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles' first outdoor NHL
9.) Trout wins the American League MVP Award.
10.) Kobe Bryant passes Michael Jordan to become the third-leading scorer in NBA history.
OK, the most obvious slight is Mike Trout's MVP Award from the nation's pastime being down there at No. 9. You can't deny numbers one and two on this list belonging where they do, but Trout should be No. 3 or at the very least tied there with California Chrome.
I mean, who else was unaware of Nos. 4-6 until seeing them on this list? Figure skating? Non-World Cup soccer? Puh-leeze … And by the way, Gracie Gold was born in Massachusetts and raised in Missouri. She only began training in El Segundo in 2013.
As for Ballmer buying the Clippers, will it also make the list when he moves the team up to Seattle in 2016?
Number 8 should be at No. 10, right after Gracie Gold and the historic Ducks-Kings game, which one supposes could be considered a "half moment" for Orange County. Meanwhile, up higher should be the achievement by Black Mamba, who we can kinda share credit for since he lives in Newport Coast and has his worldwide HQ in Newport Beach.
But where is the 2014 retirement of "The Finnish Flash" Teemu Selänne, who has had as much if not more of an impact on this region's pro sports as Donovan has?
The nonprofit LA Sports Council somewhat redeems itself by having Trouty and Kershaw share 2014 Sportsmen of the Year honors. (Gold is the lone Sportswoman of the Year.)
Ah, well, we can scream at our teevees over the OC slights starting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, when Prime Ticket televises the awards show (with multiple airings to follow).