Four straight outings without anyone correctly picking all the games. Upsets such as Oregon winning at UCLA and Oregon State beating USC are becoming common.
In the Guess the UW Score game, Pauley is the big winner with a prediction of 64-55 that was closest to the Huskies’ 59-52 victory. Congrats Pauley.
We’re winding down. Just two more days left in the regular season. Let’s get to it.
USC at Arizona State, 5:30 p.m. (FSN)
Washington State at Oregon State, 7 p.m.
Washington at Oregon, 7 p.m.
UCLA at Arizona, 7:30 p.m. (FSN)
My picks: ASU, OSU and Arizona.
Pac-10 record: 48-33.
AND THE UW-OREGON WINNER IS …
The Huskies 68-60.
Both teams have changed substantially since Oregon stunned Washington early in January at Edmundson Pavilion and upset the Huskies 90-79.
For starters, forward Justin Holiday is starting for UW and center Michael Dunigan, who pounded Washington for 20 points and 14 rebounds, isn’t starting for the Ducks. Dunigan is slowed by a hip injury, which limited him to just seven minutes last Saturday at UCLA.
Holiday gives the Huskies another rangy defender on the perimeter, but as good as he is, UW will have to rely on its guards Isaiah Thomas, Venoy Overton and Abdul Gaddy to contain Tajuan Porter and Malcolm Armstead. Porter scored 33 points against the Huskies last year and that’s a performance coach Lorenzo Romar will never forget. Still, Armstead proved he can be just a lethal, tallying 21 points and six assists in their last meeting.
If Dunigan isn’t fully recovered, not sure if Oregon has anyone that can contain Matthew Bryan-Amaning the way he’s been playing lately. We haven’t wrote that before in a pre-game scouting report. But Bryan-Amaning has improved to the point where the Huskies are starting to rely on double-digit points in the paint and solid defense around the rim.
And we haven’t mentioned Quincy Pondexter, who has plenty to prove after tallying just seven points in his last outing.
We noted the personnel changes since their last meeting and another change is Oregon’s switch to the zone defense. The Ducks ran some zone early in the season, but they use a lot more these days.
The Huskies had no problem demolishing UCLA’s zone largely because Pondexter found holes in the middle, Thomas made shots from the outside and the role players made timely contributions.
Finally, emotions will be high tonight for the Ducks, which is playing its final Pac-10 games at McArthur Court this week. They’re bringing back legendary coach Dick Harter, which will surely fire up fans and players. They’re also bringing back former UW star Brandon Roy, which should inspire the Huskies.