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Husky Men's Basketball

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

February 21, 2008 at 10:09 AM

Tonight’s picks

If this were ESPN, the network might call this “Elimination Week” in the Pac-10.
Teams such as Washington and Oregon could be all but done by the end of the weekend in terms of even being able to really talk about the NCAA Tournament (other than winning the Pac-10 Tournament), especially the Huskies, who can’t afford any more losses. And teams like Arizona and Arizona State would be best-served getting at least one win this weekend or else get put in a pretty preciarous position.
On with the picks:
OREGON AT USC: Ducks fell to 6-7 in conference play with the home loss to WSU and now have three in a row on the road. If Ducks can win two (and the most logical formula is to beat USC and Oregon State) they would be in position to get a bit by then sweeping the last two at home against Arizona and Arizona State. The Ducks may be getting USC at the right time as the Trojans are basically playing five guys right now due to injuries. On the positive for the Trojans. O.J. Mayo says he is 100 percent after being bothered by a groin injury last week. It’s all about three-pointers for Oregon, however, and no one is better at defending them than USC (just 31.2 percent in conference play). USC, desperate for wins to keep NCAA tourney hopes alive as well, gets this one at home. USC 68, OREGON 63.
OREGON STATE AT UCLA: Already under-manned Beavers will now be short-handed after Marcel Jones and Sean Carter were suspended for this game for their role in the incidents last week prior to the Husky game. Beavers likely to put up more of a fight than against Huskies but that may not impact the score any. UCLA 85, OSU 61.
ARIZONA STATE AT WASHINGTON STATE: Just when ASU seemed ready to really put itself in the NCAA tourney talk, the Sun Devils blew an early lead and lost at home to Cal. Now comes a trip on which it hasn’t won a game since 2003, losing four in a row in both Pullman and Seattle. Devils might feel they are due against Cougars, losing each of the last two at home by one point when shots at the buzzer failed. But WSU appears to be regaining its stride after a brief slump. WSU 65, ASU 54.
ARIZONA AT WASHINGTON: Biggest key to this one is whether the Huskies can do anything to slow down Jerryd Bayless and Chase Budinger, combining to average 42 points a game for Arizona in Pac-10 play. Both are dangerous from the three-point line where Arizona ranks second in the conference at 40.4 percent in Pac-10 play. UW is third in three-point defense at 33 percent in conference play. But Huskies have also been dramatically erratic in that area — Arizona hit 13-22 three-pointers in the game in Tucson (59 percent) and Oregon hit 56 percent last week in Eugene. Huskies, however, are allowing teams to shoot just 28-104 (26.9 percent) on three-pointers at Edmundson Pavilion. As I wrote today, Arizona is lurching into bubble territory for the NCAA Tournament and needs at least a split on this trip, so the Wildcats will play with desperation. Arizona has also played well in Seattle the last two years, winning high-scoring affairs each time. This just feels like a bad matchup for the Huskies. ARIZONA 81, UW 74.
(By the way, here’s the latest NIT-ology projecting UW as the second-to-last team left out of that field).

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