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Husky Men's Basketball

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

February 7, 2009 at 10:27 PM

Sunday’s pick

The night in the Pac-10 is over, leaving just one game to finish out the weekend when Washington plays tomorrow at Stanford.
Every game is big this time of year for contending teams, so it’s probably foolhardy to say this is the biggest of the season or anything like that for the Huskies.
But it’s safe to say this game is more Orson Welles than Richard Simmons.
With a win, the Huskies keep sole possession of second place. A loss, and UW falls into a three-way tie for second, only a half-game ahead of USC for fifth and a game ahead of Arizona for sixth.
In fact, let’s look at the conference standings after tonight:
UCLA 8-2
Washington 7-3
Cal 7-4
Arizona State 7-4
USC 6-4
Arizona 6-5
Stanford 4-6
WSU 4-7
Oregon State 4-7
Oregon 0-11
UCLA’s win today will help the entire conference come NCAA tournament time, and the odds look better that the Pac-10 will get at least five into March Madness than they did a few weeks ago.
But obviously better living atop the bubble than on it.
After the Stanford game, UW will finish with five of seven at home, the most favorable conference slate of any of the contenders save ASU, which also finishes with five of seven at home.
So break the Maples hex and it would take a pretty epic collapse for the Huskies to fall out of the tournament, especially considering the first two teams into Hec Ed next week are Oregon and Oregon State. But lose today and the ride to March starts to get a little bumpy.
Vegas is no help with this one, installing the game as a pick ’em.
Pick it I will, and I’m siding with the Huskies (despite what I figure will be the clamors from those of you who realize I’ve missed on the last three UW games and think there’s some reverse karma going on).
I’ll take UW for two main reasons:
1, The Huskies have displayed solid resilience all season, bouncing back from the big loss against Kansas to almost beat Florida the next night; from the first Cal loss to handily beat Oregon and OSU on the road; and from the Arizona loss to win comfortably at ASU two days later. No reason they can’t do it again.
2, Stanford’s streak in Maples has to end some time, and this is one of the few instances in that 15-year losing skid for the Huskies that Washington comes in with the better record. This is as good a chance as UW has had in the history of the streak to win here.
I also like the matchup of Jon Brockman against Stanford’s interior and figure he’s due for a bounce back game, which in turn will open things up for UW’s guards to also rebound from an off night in Berkeley.
So call it WASHINGTON 81, STANFORD 75.

Comments | Topics: UCLA


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