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WASHINGTON AT ARIZONA STATE: What a tough game to gauge not knowing the status of James Harden. Guess here is that he doesn’t really play — maybe tries early but can’t go — that sort of thing. Either way, he won’t be 100 percent. Still, ASU is a lot better this year even without him than a year ago due to the addition of guys like Ty Abbott and the maturation of everyone else. The Huskies have won 10 in a row against ASU dating to the 02-03 season but this will be a tougher atmosphere than any UW has encountered during that time. Given UW’s struggles to win on the road, this just feels like the night the streak ends, with or without Harden. ASU 66, UW 61.
WASHINGTON STATE AT ARIZONA: Arizona is a point-and-a-half favorite, but who really considers the Cougars underdogs in this one against the talented but erratic Wildcats? Arizona is good enough to beat anyone in the conference on any given night, but still seems to lack the cohesiveness of veteran teams like the Cougars, who will do enough to pull it out at the end and win their third in a row against the Wildcats after having won just once since 1986. WSU 69, ARIZONA 65.
UCLA AT OREGON: Big game for the Ducks, who fell back into slippery territory with the sweep at the hands of the Washington schools last week. Oregon has to get better play out of its young guards and better decision-making down the stretch. Oregon may also need some big minutes from guys like Mitch Platt to defend Kevin Love, who figures to be the focus of the ire of the Ducks crowd tonight. Oregon has won four of six against UCLA in Eugene but catches the Bruins angry after the loss last week to USC. Ultimately, Love will have a happy homecoming. UCLA 75, OREGON 69.
USC AT OREGON STATE: Trojans are 10-and-a-half point favorites, and right now, I’d take the Beavers and the points given the way OSU played against UW. If OSU can replicate that effort the rest of the year it is bound to pull a few upsets. Not sure OSU can win this one, but I think they can keep it within double-digits. It will be interesting to see the coaching style of Kevin Mouton. He was head coach at OSU for one game in the 04-05 season when Jay John sat out due to a hypertension episode and the Beavers won 88-66 with many saying later that the players appeared to have a freer reign, and thrived as a result. So maybe all that athletic ability that OSU seems to have will benefit from the coaching change. But still can’t pick OSU to win outright. USC 78, OSU 71.
SEASON RECORD: 24-3
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