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Husky Men's Basketball

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

March 14, 2008 at 2:11 PM

More Pac-10 notes, picks

A few more news and notes from the Pac-10 Tournament, plus a couple of picks:
— Some of you have noted what seem like smallish crowds for the tournament games. Attendance was officially listed at 16,442 for the night session Thursday (though it barely looked like half that on TV) so the conference will likely consider it a success.
To me, it felt the same as just about any other year — pretty empty for games not involving the LA schools, pretty full for the session involving USC and UCLA. They’ll catch a break this year with either UCLA or USC assured of being in the final.
Some of you have asked if moving it around might help with the attendance. It might. But nothing’s going to happen through at least 2012. FOX Sports now essentially owns the rights to the tournament, and it wants it in LA where the company is based and where many of its sponsors are headquartered. And if it weren’t for FOX’s involvement, the tournament would have a tough go financially, and would likely have never gotten revived in the first place. Maybe in a few years all parties will be convinced it will work well enough elsewhere to move it around. But it’s going to be at Staples for at least four more years.
— Here’s a consensus from people at the tourament on who is thought to be leaving early — O.J. Mayo and Davon Jefferson of USC, Kevin Love and Darren Collison of UCLA, Ryan Anderson of Cal, Brook Lopez of Stanford, and Jerryd Bayless of Arizona. Chase Budinger of Arizona is expected to stay as is ASU’s James Harden. Up in the air is UCLA’s Russell Westbrook, whose stock is rapidly rising.
TONIGHT’S PICKS
WSU VS. STANFORD — The Cougars gave the Cardinal two good games during the regular season only to falter in the final minutes each time. That might lead you to believe that the Cougars are due to finally get one against The Tree. But Stanford just seems like a bad matchup for the Cougars with all of its height inside and the Cardinal is pretty motivated to get another shot at UCLA (not that WSU isn’t as the Bruins are the only team Weaver-Low-Cowgill have never beaten, just that Stanford won’t be any less pumped). WSU will need a complete game from Derrick Low to win this one, not just a half, as well as some quality minutes from Aron Baynes. Guess here is Stanford again simply wears down the Cougars. STANFORD 65, WSU 60.
USC VS. UCLA — Teams split this year, each winning on the other’s floor. Mayo sure to be primed to avenge the 10-turnover performance of the last meeting, but Bruins are well-rested after the easy game with Cal and may be ready to hit their usual March stride. UCLA 78, USC 71.
SEASON RECORD: 95-21 (5-1 in tournament).

Comments | Topics: UCLA

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