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Husky Men's Basketball

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

January 31, 2009 at 8:59 AM

Pac-10 picks

Remember after last Saturday’s win over UCLA when UW coach Lorenzo Romar said his team could go from first to fourth in two weeks?
It could happen more quickly than that.
That’s not to be a negative slant on the Huskies, just to point out how jumbled it’s getting at the top of the conference.
With play resuming today, five teams are within one game of each other at the top of the standings —- UCLA and UW are 6-2, USC, Arizona State and Cal are 5-3.
Another, WSU, is at 4-4 — and believe it or not, the only team in the conference that hasn’t lost a road Pac-10 game at 3-0.
With most of those teams playing each other today, there could be a bit more clarity to the standings at the end of the day —- or more likely, simply more chaos.
In fact, consider this scenario — if ASU beats UW and Stanford beats UCLA there would be a four-way tie for first at the end of the day.
WASHINGTON STATE AT ARIZONA (Wildcats by 6.5): Two teams coming off their biggest wins of the season, with the victor today suddenly right back in the hunt for an NCAA Tournament bid. Obviously a wide variance in pace of play in this one, and the team that can best dictate its tempo figures to win it. The home court, and a suddenly resurgent Chase Budinger, point to an Arizona victory. ARIZONA 71, WSU 62.
WASHINGTON AT ARIZONA STATE (Sun Devils by six): That’s a higher spread than I thought it would be, especially considering UW has been pretty good on the road this season. An especially critical game for ASU which would fall to 5-4 in conference play and fourth place with a defeat. Sun Devils simply haven’t been shooting well of late, as I detailed in my preview story on the game today. I picked UW to win the other night at Arizona, which means the Huskies will probably win this one, instead. But for now, I’m siding with the Devils, thinking they are due to break out at home and beat the Huskies here for the first time since the 2003 season. ASU 73, UW 68.
CAL AT USC (Trojans by six): Cal and USC are each teams right on the brink — with a win today, each could conceivably be tied for first at the end of the day. With a loss, each could be as low as fourth, with the Bears particularly reeling after that fast start. USC is battling all kinds of health issues and has kind of been just scraping by, its last three wins coming by a combined four points. Bears seem due for a better performance and will pull off the road upset. CAL 68, USC 63.
STANFORD AT UCLA (Bruins by 11.5): Cardinal is trying to bounce back from its third one-point loss on the road, and fourth in six games overall. At some point, however, could be hard to keep getting off the mat from those kinds of defeats, and today’s game has the feel of one where it all falls apart for the Cardinal. UCLA 81, STANFORD 65.
OREGON AT OREGON STATE (Beavers by two): Nice as last weekend was for OSU, what will really get Beaver fans excited is beating the Ducks — even what may be the worst Oregon team in more than 15 years. OSU has just four wins against Oregon since 1995. There are fewer than 1,000 tickets left for this one, so Gill should be rocking as it hasn’t in years. That should be enough to lift the Beavers to a third straight win. OSU 85, OREGON 78.

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