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Husky Men's Basketball

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

February 7, 2009 at 12:28 AM

Today’s picks

I don’t think there’s any question now that there are six Pac-10 teams playing for what should be five NCAA tourney spots, but might only be four — UCLA, Washington, USC, Arizona State, Cal and Arizona. The other four look out of it now (maybe you could make a case for Stanford, but they’d probably have to go 6-2 at worst the rest of the way just to enter the conversation).
And by the end of this weekend, there could be five teams within one game of being either second, or sixth, proving the conference to be as commpetitive in the middle as many predicted in October.
Just how many teams make the NCAA tournament could be decided in Pauley Pavilion today as the Bruinis host Notre Dame at the ungodly hour of 10 a,m. Notre Dame’s been getting streamrolled by just about everybody in the Big East for three weeks now. But if the Irish come to Westwood and beat the Bruins, it will only reinforce nationally the idea that the Pac-10 isn’t all that good. So love UCLA, or hate themm if you’re a Pac-10 team today, you’d probably better be rooting for them.
On with the picks.
NOTRE DAME AT UCLA (Bruins by 10.5): I don’t usually pick the non-conference games, but what the heck. This seems high-profile enough to deserve mention even in this space. Notre Dame, a Top 20 team most of the year, is 12th — yes, 12th — in the far-too-Big East, putting that much more pressure on UCLA to make a good impression for the Pac-10 today. The Irish has lost six in a row, all by seven in a row. And the last time they played a Pac-10 team they were dominated by WSU in the NCAA Tournament. UCLA gives the Pac-10 a boost. UCLA 81, NOTRE DAME 65.
ARIZONA STATE AT OREGON STATE (Devils by 8): ASU got off the mat in Eugene with James Harden showing that he may yet be the Pac-10’s Player of the Year. Expect another dominating performance from Harden as ASU holds off the Beavers. ASU 62, OSU 54.
ARIZONA AT OREGON (Wildcats by 4.5): Seems like a surprisingly small line for a matchup of the worst team in the Pac-10 in Oregon and what is suddenly the hottest in Arizona. I’m not sure the Ducks have any answer for Jordan Hill, who had an oddly subpar game in the first meeting between the two. That shouldn’t happen this time as Hill will lead an easy UA win that will put the Wildcats right back in the NCAA conversation. ARIZONA 78, OREGON 65.
WASHINGTON STATE AT CAL (Bears by 6): The way to beat the Cougars is by hitting three-pointers, something Cal usually does well. Plus, Cal is simply better. Cougars are dangerous in any game, but they’ve also lost four of five and seven of 11. And has anyone else noticed that for a Cougar team that is supposedly rebuilding, four of its top five scorers are seniors? CAL 71, WSU 59.

Comments | Topics: UCLA


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