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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

February 2, 2008 at 9:39 AM

Saturday’s picks

The ole’ go-with-the-home-team-when-in-doubt theory didn’t work so well Thursday. I picked all four home teams and went 1-3, dropping the season record to 31-9.
But maybe it shouldn’t have been a surprise — after Thursday’s games, Pac-10 teams are 20-20 at home in conference play. Four Pac-10 teams — UCLA, WSU, USC and Cal — have more road wins than home wins, and Stanford has just as many of each.
On with the picks:
ARIZONA AT UCLA: The marquee game of the day and a chance for the Wildcats to show they are a legit contender for the Pac-10 title. When Jerryd Bayless and Chase Budinger shoot the way they have of late, Arizona can beat anybody. But UCLA has a way of making teams miss, especially in Pauley, and even with Jordan Hill, I don’t think Arizona will be able to do much with Kevin Love inside. UCLA 77, Arizona 71.
ARIZONA STATE AT USC: Sun Devils appear headed to NIT-territory, with the blowout at UCLA showing that for as far as ASU has come this year, it still has a ways to go. James Harden is due for a better game than his nine-pointer at Pauley, and the Trojans could be a little short-handed if Daniel Hackett can’t play as much as usual (though sounds as if his hip injury isn’t as bad as initially feared). But Trojans should rebound. USC 71, ASU 60.
CAL AT WASHINGTON: So go figure the Bears, 1-4 at home and 2-1 on the road, winning at WSU without senior center DeVon Hardin? UW, meanwhile, looks like it’s at a real make-or-break portion of the season — every game may be must-wins, but this one seems a lot more must than most. NIT-ology continues to have the Huskies on the bubble. Hardin is still out, which should help the Huskies, but if it becomes a free throw contest, UW is in trouble — Cal leads the Pac-10 at 76.2 percent while UW is last at 59.6. Hard to sweep any trip, however, and Bears had a long travel day Friday, and without Hardin, less depth than usual. A real hesitant pick for UW to get off the mat. Washington 67, Cal 61.
STANFORD AT WASHINGTON STATE: Stanford can officially supplant WSU as UCLA’s most legitimate competition for the Pac-10 crown with a win today. And if Brook Lopez keeps playing the way he has of late, no reason to think the Cardinal won’t be in it for the long haul (I’ll admit I had underestimated this team a bit before seeing it in person Thursday). The key may be what kind of game the officials call. If the Lopez’s get in any foul trouble early and lose their composure in the face of a raucous crowd, WSU will have a big edge. But if those guys can each play 30 minutes or so, it switches to Stanford. Here’s thinking that Brook Lopez makes a case as a legit contender for the Pac-10 Player of the Year Award, as well, with another dominating performance. Stanford 71, WSU 64.
OREGON STATE AT OREGON: Oregon State hasn’t won in Eugene since 1992 and there is little logical reason to think it can do so now. Oregon has to get this one as it has five of next seven on the road. Oregon 85, OSU 62.
SEASON RECORD: 31-9.

Comments | Topics: UCLA

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