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Husky Men's Basketball

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

February 22, 2009 at 1:36 PM

Tonight’s pick

Well the only thing more off-target than USC’s offense in the second half against UW Saturday was me with my Pac-10 picks.
I went a downright Sexsonian 0-4, barely even fouling any off.
After the fact, I also realized that it was a day when all four Northwest schools won. You’d need to do some heavy-duty research to figure it out, but I can’t imagine that’s happened all that often the last few decades.
Anyway, easy to forget in the celebration over UW’s win that the team that may now be the most dangerous threat to the Huskies for the Pac-10 regular-season title — Arizona State — is in action tonight against the rival Wildcats in Tempe. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. and the game is on FSN if you can pull yourselves away from the Academy Awards (having little kids, the animated film category is the only one I know anything about).
ASU is the only other team in the conference that also has its destiny in its own hands to win the title outright — at 9-4 it has the same number of losses as the 11-4 Huskies and with a game left against UW, can obviously finish ahead of Washington if it runs the table.
ASU’s been a little enigmatic at times this year, really not looking all that impressive in some games. But ultimately, there the Sun Devils are right where everyone expected, in the heat of the race with three weeks left.
The oddmakers have installed Arizona State as an eight-and-a-half point favorite tonight, which seems a little high considering Arizona has won its last seven games and also suddenly has title hopes — at 8-5, Arizona also controls its own destiny in terms of being able to forge a share of the Pac-10 title as it would be assured of no less than that if it were to win out.
ASU has won three in a row against Arizona, tied for the longest streak in the series since before Lute Olson took over.
In searching for some statistical edges into this game, it’s hard to find too many as these two are pretty evenly matched in a lot of areas. If there’s one that stands out, it’s three-point shooting —- Arizona’s been hot of late and is up to 36.6 while ASU, despite some better performances in recent games — is last in the Pac-10 at 32.2.
But the home court advantage can make up for a lot. I don’t see ASU covering, but I do see the Sun Devils winning and then setting up what may be the real Pac-10 game of the year Thursday in Seattle. ASU 72, ARIZONA 68.
SEASON RECORD: 49-21.

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