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Husky Men's Basketball

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

January 2, 2009 at 10:29 AM

Pac-10 play starts today — my first picks

Pac-10 conference play gets underway today — and we do mean today as USC and Oregon tip off at 1 p.m. in Eugene for a rare weekday conference day game.
As I did a year ago, I’ll pick a winner for every conference game and I invite anyone else who wants to join in with their picks to go right ahead, as well. I’ll sometimes (often?) try to also include the spread, but I’m just going to pick the games straight-up.
USC AT OREGON (USC by 3): An intriguing opener each of these teams have been erratic during the non-conference season breaking in new players. USC also has seemed to solve Mac Court, winning the last three games it has played there and taking five of the last seven overall against Oregon. Ducks keep it close but the better team wins in the end. USC 68, OREGON 61.
UCLA AT OREGON STATE (Bruins by 14): UCLA played only one true road game in the non-conference and lost it, at Texas. But while the Beavers appear to be improving, this is obviously the softest way to break into Pac-10 road play, especially with school out and Gill maybe a little more sedentary than usual. Could be ugly, but Bruins will prevail. UCLA 61, OSU 49.
ARIZONA AT CAL (Bears by three): We’ll start to find out just how real are the Bears, off to a nice start under new coach Mike Montgomery. Whole key for the Bears is whether the three-pointers are falling — Bears have hit an amazing 50.6 percent so far. Arizona is No. 2 in the conference in threes at 43.5 percent. One problem for Arizona — big man Jordan Hill is nursing a leg injury and was limited in practice this week. Cal has beaten Arizona just twice this century. But in part because of the uncertainty over Hill, we’ll go with the home team. CAL 75, ARIZONA 69.
ARIZONA STATE AT STANFORD (Sun Devils by two): Another game where we begin to see if a surprise team is for real, in this case, the Cardinal, the only undefeated team left in the conference at 10-0. One big reason for Stanford’s success? An amazing turnover margin of plus-6.80 per game. ASU, however, is the best team the Cardinal has played to date, though questions remain about the Devils — they’ve played only one true road game, a tight win at San Diego State Nov. 18. Just a hunch that Stanford really is a lot better than everyone thought and will prove it tonight. STANFORD 78, ASU 73.
I’ll pick the games each day, so the Cougar-Husky selection will come tomorrow.

Comments | Topics: UCLA

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