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Husky Men's Basketball

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

March 4, 2009 at 10:44 PM

Thursday’s picks

So even without playing, Thursday could be an historic night for the Washington Huskies.
If Oregon State somehow upsets UCLA, the Huskies will clinch the outright Pac-10 title and can then look to Saturday’s game against WSU for pride, preparation for tournament play and simple rivalry.
But I sure wouldn’t count on that happening.
OSU has beaten UCLA just five times since 1993 and only once in that time at Pauley Pavilion — in 2003 when the Bruins finished 10-19 and fired Steve Lavin.
And UCLA beat the Beavers 69-46 in Corvallis the opening weekend of conference play, as dominating a loss as OSU has suffered other than to UW during the Pac-10 season.
In fact, this entire weekend is a rematch of games from the opening weekend, when so much seemed unknown.
A lot actually is still unsettled in the middle of the conference with Arizona, USC, Oregon State and WSU all in postions where they could fall to playing on the first day of the Pac-10 tournament or into the top six of the conference.
So on with the picks:
OREGON STATE AT UCLA (Bruins by 18): Seems like a big spread for UCLA. But for all its progress, OSU showed it still has a ways to go with its loss at Oregon Saturday. And the Bruins looked a little like they were hitting their March stride with the sweep in the Bay Area last weekend. UCLA will keep the Huskies sweating just a bit for another few days. UCLA 72, OSU 49.
STANFORD AT ARIZONA STATE (Devils by 10): ASU lost two last weekend, but both were in overtime on the road against teams playing well. Not really a reason to panic for the Devils. But they do need to win this game. And while Stanford showed it hasn’t given up with its win over USC last weekend, no reason to think the Devils won’t. They beat Stanford by 30 in Palo Alto to start the year and should cruise again. ASU 82, STANFORD 63.
CAL AT ARIZONA (Wildcats by six-and-a-half): Should be a really emotional night in Tucson as the school honors Lute Olson, who has finally spoken publicly about his retirement (here’s a report on his news conference today). UA also desperately needs this win to get into the NCAA Tournament. So assuming that emotion and motive matters, the nod goes to Arizona. ARIZONA 89, CAL 78.
OREGON AT USC (Trojans by 14): The two most disappointing teams in the Pac-10 (maybe you could throw Stanford in there given its start, but overall, the Cardinal is right where everyone thought in October). Whole key here is what kind of effort the Trojans feel like giving. At home, in front of their fans, where they are 13-2 this year and haven’t lost often the last three years, I’m thinking it will be okay. USC 75, OREGON 58.

Comments | Topics: UCLA


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