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Husky Men's Basketball

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

February 26, 2009 at 1:47 PM

Tonight’s picks

So after an oh-so sorry Saturday when I turned in the equivalent of the Golden Sombrero, I had a nice little rally Sunday, missing by only two points getting a direct hit on the ASU-UA game (and sorry for the bragging, but since the opportunity comes so seldom, I have to take it — kind of like the walk-on who gets in late in the game and shoots within 10 seconds).
Anyway, a big night of Pac-10 hoops on tap, so here we go:
ARIZONA AT WASHINGTON STATE (Cougars by two-and-a-half): Seems like kind of a surprising line, especially considering WSU has been a better road team than home this season in conference play — 2-5 in Pullman, 4-4 on the road. Still, with just two home games left and the Cougars coming off the win at UCLA, the crowd figures to be hyped, which at some point has to help the home squad. Arizona broke away from the Cougars in the second half of the last game after deciding to go with some pressure defense, causing WSU to unravel. That may not work as well on the road. The UCLA win showed WSU is still playing hard. But Arizona has more on the line, and some tough matchups for the Cougars, so edge to the road team. ARIZONA 68, WSU 63.
USC AT CAL (Bears by 5): The bickering Trojans and the too-often somnolent Bears meet in a game critical for each team. USC can probably forget about an NCAA tourney bid if it loses this game. Cal, meanwhile, is in a more precarious spot than some might realize at 9-5 and facing USC, UCLA and then at the Arizona schools in its last four games. USC sounds as if it has had a week of mending some wounds and is likely to play better than it did against the Huskies Saturday. But Cal is 15-1 at home for a reason. CAL 72, USC 65.
UCLA AT STANFORD (Bruins by 5-and-a-half): You have to start questioning the Bruins a little, whose three-losses-in-four games stretch seems a little more troubling than the usual blip or two that UCLA has so often rebounded from. UCLA simply isn’t as good defensively as the past few years, nor does it have as imposing an inside threat. But that shouldn’t matter as much tonight against a Stanford team that has lost seven of its last eight conference games — beating only WSU at home — and is limping to the finish. Yet another road win tonight in the conference appears on tap. UCLA 81, STANFORD 69.
ARIZONA STATE AT WASHINGTON (Huskies by 4-and-a-half): Those who like my reverse karma brace yourselves — I like the home team tonight. As the first game showed, the Huskies have the athletes on defense to bother James Harden — long, bigger defenders such as Darnell Gant and Quincy Pondexter. UW also has the guards to penetrate and take advantage of the holes in ASU’s zone. To me, the whole game comes down to whether ASU gets anything out of guys like Rihards Kuksiks, Derek Glasser and Jamelle McMillan. They really didn’t in the first game until it was too late — Kuksiks, for instance, finished with 10 but had zero at halftime. If those guys hit some shots early, watch out. But even then, UW has the fire power to fight back, especially with what figures to be one of the more electric home crowds in quite a while. WASHINGTON 82, ASU 75.
SEASON RECORD: 50-21 straight-up.
PRE-GAME CHAT? The live chat last night seemed to go pretty well, and some of you asked if there would be another today. So what I plan to do is a pre-game chat beginning at around 6:30 or so, going for an hour or so. Not ready yet to do it during the game but we may try that Saturday.

Comments | Topics: UCLA

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