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Husky Men's Basketball

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

February 28, 2009 at 8:21 AM

Today’s picks

So is today the day for the Huskies?
Well, yes and no.
The best UW can do today, actually, is clinch a tie since UCLA plays Cal — ensuring that while of those two contenders will lose, one will also win. So even if UW wins today, it will still be in a position to potentially be tied by the winner of that game (and ASU if the Sun Devils win in Pullman).
In some ways, this may be equally as big a game for Arizona. The Wildcats haven’t missed the NCAA Tournament since 1984 and at 8-7 in conference play, can hardly be considered a lock given that the Wildcats will also host Cal next Thursday before ending with Stanford.
On with the picks:
ARIZONA STATE AT WSU (Cougars by 1.5): WSU has won five in a row and seven of eight in this series, with its defense seeming to always unnerve the Devils, and Aron Baynes usually a good match for Jeff Pendergraph. It’s also Senior Day in Pullman for some players who have had big roles in reviving the program the last few years. WSU has also played as well as any team the past two games and seems to have found something here at the end of the year. But ASU showed again Thursday night that it doesn’t seem too bothered playing on the road — how many teams would have rallied from that early deficit in that din the way the Devils did? ASU just seems due. ARIZONA STATE 65, WSU 61.
UCLA AT CAL (Bruins by 3): Cal’s probably in the tournament now after beating USC and getting to 10 conference wins Thursday. The big prize for the winner today is staying in the title race, with UCLA knowing it will return home to play Oregon and Oregon State next weekend. Bruins easily handled the Bears at home last month. And Senior Day won’t mean much with Cal having only one departing player — junior Jordan Wilkes, who is giving up his final year of eligibility. These are actually the top two shooting teams in the conference, both overall and from three. Difference could be who wins the PG battle — Darren Collison or Jerome Randle. We’ll side with the home court, and what will be an official elimination of the Bruins from winning a fourth-straight title. CAL 81, UCLA 77.
USC AT STANFORD: (Cardinal by 1.5): If the Trojans don’t win this one, they can kiss the NCAA Tournament goodbye short of winning the Pac-10 Tournament — which they could do. But if neither happens, this will go down as one of the bigger disappointments in Pac-10 history to not make the tournament with this much talent. I think any NBA scout would agree there are more potential NBA players on this team than the Huskies, and maybe as many as anyone in the league other than Arizona’s Big Three. Stanford, meanwhile, put up a good fight against UCLA and it’s Senior Day so there should be some energy in the house. Hard to call it an upset since Stanford is favored, but it feels like that’s what it will be. STANFORD 72, USC 67.
ARIZONA AT WASHINGTON (Huskies by 8): Wildcats are the one team that just ran through the Huskies this year with the memorable 69-point second half in Tucson last month. While key for UW figures to be how it can contain Nic Wise — he had 29 against the Huskies in Arizona and when he gets going it makes it that much harder to stop Jordan Hill and Chase Budinger. But more than any matchup or strategy, UW just seems like a team of destiny right now. Arizona will have its moments, but UW, as has becomes its custom, will find a way to win. WASHINGTON 84, ARIZONA 79.
SEASON RECORD: 53-22 straight up.

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