Brutal day for the picks on Thursday.
Seems like every week, there’s something new and for the for first time this season no one correctly predicted all four games. Pretty pathetic. Blame the Huskies. Almost everyone picked them to win.
Only three posters picked USC and Mtraenk, who guessed the Trojans would win 76-71 came the closest to the final score: 67-64. Congratulations. If you’re coming to today’s game, e-mail me privately to claim your winnings.
Hopefully, we’ll do better this time.
Stanford at Oregon State, noon (FSN)
USC at Washington State, 2 p.m.
California at Oregon, 3 p.m.
UCLA at Washington, 6 p.m. (ESPN)
Arizona State at Arizona, 3:30 p.m. (FSN)
My picks: OSU, USC, Cal and Arizona.
Pac-10 record: 41-26.
AND THE UW-UCLA WINNER IS …
The Huskies, 72-58.
Maybe I’m still influenced by the morning festivities, which were truly electric. But if the that was a glimpse of what the environment is going to be tonight, then the atmosphere should carry UW to a big performance.
The Huskies will have to manage their emotions on Senior Night and patience will be key against UCLA’s matchup zone, that will slow the game down.
It’s going to be a test of wills. The Bruins favor a slow tempo with games in the 50s or 60s. Washington wants a quick pace, but it can’t rush bad shots early in the shot clock. And crashing the glass is vital because the Bruins are the worst defensive rebounding team in the Pac-10 in conference games.
Matthew Bryan-Amaning is playing the best basketball of his three-year career and he’ll have his hands full today against UCLA freshman Reeves Nelson, who will remind many of a young Jon Brockman.
In their first meeting, a 62-61 UCLA victory, the Bruins went to the free throw line 26 times and sank 17. UW was 10 of 12 at the line. That figures to be reversed tonight because the Huskies’ defense has more bite at home than on the road.
It was curious why the Huskies were unable to apply more pressure against UCLA’s Malcolm Lee, a shooting guard who moved to point guard this season. He committed three turnovers, however, he also drew several fouls and took eight foul shots.
Three-point specialist Scott Suggs found a hole in UCLA’s zone defense in the corner and sank a pair of three-pointers. The Huskies sank seven treys in that game, including four from Quincy Pondexter and if they can do that again, then they should be in good shape.