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Husky Men's Basketball

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

February 22, 2008 at 10:51 PM

Saturday’s picks

So how nuts is the Pac-10 right now? UW and Arizona State could either be alone in fifth place, alone in ninth place, or somewhere in between by the end of the weekend depending on the result of their game tomorrow.
Must-win, indeed.
On to the picks:
ARIZONA AT WASHINGTON STATE: The second-to-last home game of the season for the Cougars, and many will wonder if it might also be the second-to-last home game for Tony Bennett, already being mentioned as a possible successor to Kelvin Sampson at Indiana. (Though IU might want to consider that WSU coaches moving to Big Ten schools don’t have a great track record — George Raveling had three years at Iowa that didn’t quite live up to expectations before leaving for USC and now Sampson). Arizona looked like a frustrated team leaving Hec Ed Thursday while the Cougars have righted the ship after that brief slump, winning four in a row and now leading the conference in three-point field goal percentage at 40.7 percent and tightening the defense. Arizona’s lack of depth will again prove telling as Cougars will pull away late. WSU 67, ARIZONA 59.
OREGON AT UCLA: After Oregon’s collapse at USC Thursday night, people in Eugene are wondering if the Ducks aren’t NIT-bound (how about a first-round matchup with the Huskies?) A loss today would sew up at least a nine-loss conference season for the Ducks and mean that either history would have to be made (no Pac-10 team worse than 10-8 has ever been invited) or an Oregon team four starters back from the Elite Eight squad of a year ago will be on the outside looking in. One reason for hope today? Despite being one of the top defensive teams around, UCLA is actually pretty vulnerable to the three-pointer, allowing Pac-10 foes to hit 35.9 percent, which ranks ninth in the conference. But the Bruins usually rise to the occassion and Kevin Love will likely make sure his teammates will treat this as a big game. UCLA 74, OREGON 62.
OREGON STATE AT USC: The most interesting thing involving OSU may be this story in the Oregonian with Marcel Jones finally giving his side of what happened last week before the Husky game (the cliff’s notes version is that he says Venoy Overton was popping off in the trainer’s room moments earlier). For what it’s worth, Jones wasn’t available to media after the game last Saturday. Worth noting, as well, that UW and OSU could meet again in the Pac-10 Tournament should the Huskies finish seventh in conference. As for this game, Trojans can take a huge step toward locking up an NCAA tourney bid and it’s hard to figure how they’d slip up as their defense always gives OSU fits. USC held OSU to a season-low 44 points in a 24-point win in Corvallis last month. This one should be similar. USC 61, OSU 46.
ARIZONA STATE AT WASHINGTON: Hard for Huskies to have better karma than they do heading into this one — UW has won three of four in maybe its best overall stretch of basketball this season and now comes ASU, a team Washington has beaten 11 straight times. Even worse news for ASU — star freshman guard James Harden is struggling with his shot, in part due to a back injury. He is averaging just 10.5 points and shooting 27 percent in last two games. Lost in the fact that ASU is 6-7 in Pac-10 play and still a surprise is that the Sun Devils have also lost seven of nine since that 4-0 start, five by 10 or more points. UW’s hex on the Devils continues. UW 71, ASU 62.
SEASON RECORD: 52-15.

Comments | Topics: UCLA

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