Saturday, February 25, 2017

Cheez-It Chicken Bites

THE GAME: UCLA vs Arizona

I spend more time in Walmart than I either want or need to, for one reason: because they carry foods that I don't see anywhere else. Sometimes they sound atrocious (is there really a market for frozen donut burgers?) but sometimes they intrigue me. 

Chicken bites breaded with Cheez-It crackers definitely grabbed my attention. I used to love Cheez-Its, though I don't know if I've had any in my adult life. 

It sounded like a simple thing to make while watching #5 UCLA at #4 Arizona. I had a hunch this was going to be a better game than their last meeting, when UA dominated UCLA. 

NOTES ON THE FOOD: 
  • There's nothing complex going on here. The chicken cooked in the oven in 25 minutes. 
  • I served it with Sweet Baby Ray's "Secret Sauce" and J. Lee Roy's Dippin' Sauce. 
  • I couldn't detect the flavor of cheese - er, Cheez-It - but it was still a decent breading. 
  • The chicken was fine, more tender than I expected it to be... but not something that I will ever buy again.  

NOTES ON THE GAME: 
  • Damn, it's been 20 years since Arizona won the National Championship, and the PAC 12 hasn't won a title since then. 
  • While we're on the subject of time passing by, one of the greatest college basketball games I have ever watched was 25 years ago: UCLA's 89-87 victory over Arizona on this court to end the Wildcats' 71-game home winning streak. 
  • Steve Alford has won 68% of his games at UCLA. I would not have guessed the number was that high. 
  • A few minutes into the game and I'm not sure either team has taken more than 10 seconds off the shot clock. 
  • I wonder if UCLA is going with a zone defense so that UA can't just go after Bryce Alford on every possession like they did in Westwood. 
  • I realize I'm a broken record on this, but it's so damn frustrating that we'll only get to watch Lonzo Ball for one season at UCLA. 
  • Unless, you know, the Lakers draft him in June. Then I'm just fine with him leaving after one year. 
  • Woah, I just caught a glimpse of Tracey Murray courtside. He's put on a few pounds since the last time I saw him. 
  • UCLA played poorly in the closing minutes of the 1st half - offensive fouls, traveling, airballs - to let UA grab a 4-point lead. 
  • UCLA is only shooting 24% from 3 in the first half. If they can improve that, this game will go down to the wire.
  • Lonzo Ball picks up his 3rd foul with 17 minutes left in the 2nd half, committing a stupid push off. If he picks up another one the Bruins are in trouble. 
  • Jay Bilas expresses surprise at UCLA giving up easy layups on defense. I guess he hasn't watched them much this year. 
  • I used to think LaVar Ball was trying to create buzz for his sons or his apparel company. Now I think he's just an unbearable asshole. 
  • UCLA is getting lots of offensive rebounds and second-chance points in the 2nd half and they've built a ten-point lead. Although that could disappear in 60 seconds against this Arizona team. 
  • When Thomas Welsh is making his shots - he's scored 12 in the second half - this offense is pretty much impossible to defend. 
  • UCLA gave back a lot of the lead and UA had a chance to tie with a few seconds left, but they missed and UCLA hung on to win by 5.
  • That was a big win for UCLA, but I still think Arizona is going to go further in March. 

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