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Husky Men's Basketball

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

February 15, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Today’s pick

Just one game in the Pac-10 today — USC at Arizona State — and what a pleasant feeling for the Huskies and their fans to be able to watch knowing that Washington will put some additional ground between it and one of the other contenders for the Pac-10 no matter what happens.
In fact, let’s first look at the Pac-10 standings as of this morning:
Washington 10-3
UCLA 8-4
Arizona State 8-4
Cal 8-4
Arizona 8-5
USC 6-5
Oregon State 5-8
Washington State 5-8
Stanford 4-8
Oregon 0-13
(By the way, there really isn’t a tiebreaking procedure until the end of the season and everyone has played everyone twice. Then, the first is head-to-head, followed by record against conference teams in descending order of finish. But even then, the tiebreaking procedure is basically just for seeding into the Pac-10 tournament. If two teams tie for the title, they essentially just tie for the title even if one has beaten the other twice. For example, the last time there was a tie for the Pac-10 title was the 1999-2000 season between Arizona and Stanford. Arizona beat Stanford twice that year, yet each is considered to have won a share of the Pac-10 title that season. Also, the winner of the Pac-10 tournament is now considered the conference champion in terms of seeding for the NCAA tournament. That said, if two teams tie for the title but one beats the other twice, the team that beat the other twice will probably feel a little better about it).
As you can see, UW fans probably ought to be rooting for USC today as a Trojans win would put the Huskies a game-and-a-half up on the rest of the field with five games left. An ASU win, and the Sun Devils move into sole possession of second, just one game behind UW, and trying to figure out how the heck they lost by 10 at home to Washington State.
As you can further see, a USC loss today and the Trojans’ hold on an NCAA tourney berth becomes pretty darn precarious, especially with a trip to the Bay Area still on tap in a couple of weeks.
ASU is favored by eight today and not only seems to be playing well again, but also will likely have a better plan of attack against USC than it did in Los Angeles last month when the Trojans decided to just take James Harden out of it, holding him to four points and no field goals for the only time in his college career. That enabled USC to win going away, 61-49.
Harden seems to play particularly well when challenged, however, so expect him to come out aggressive and lead another Sun Devil win. ASU 72, USC 63.
SEASON RECORD: 44-17.

Comments | Topics: UCLA

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