Finally. After two weeks, we broke out of a slump with the picks. I wasn’t sure it was going to happen. We had eight folks correctly pick games on Thursday. Well, that’s nine if I include myself into the mix.
Here’s the list of winners: jackncoke, dawgiedaddy, sparky da dawg, Lucky Strike, sitting dawg, Slars529, ProgressiveDawg and sruwalum07.
And in the Guess the UW Score game, we had another first. It’s never happened before, but I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later.
We have a tie. Two guessers came the closest to predicting UW’s 86-72 victory. The winners are GFRfan who predicted an 85-70 win and kstreetdawg who had 84-71.
And I’ve got to note that’s three wins this season for GFRfan. If anyone is going to Las Vegas for the NCAA tournament, saddle up with that guy because he knows what he’s doing. Or at least, he knows the Huskies.
As promised, after the season I’ll recap all of the winners after the season.
Anyway, it’s an early start with the games so let’s get to it.
USC at Arizona, 11:30 a.m.
UCLA at Arizona State, 2 p.m.
California at Stanford, 3 p.m.
Washington State at Oregon, 5 p.m.
Washington at Oregon State, 5 p.m.
(Game times local to site.)
My picks: USC, ASU, Cal and Oregon.
Pac-10 record: 52-33.
AND THE UW-OSU WINNER IS …
The Huskies 72-62.
Short summary today. Oregon State has an outstanding defense, which forces a lot of turnovers and holds most teams under 60 points. Washington counters with one of the nation’s top offenses that’s leads the Pac-10 conference in offensive rebounds.
This will be a test of wills. Can the Beavers slow it down for 40 minutes and keep a lid on UW’s explosive offense? They did it for much of the game in their previous meeting, but never really had a chance to win until the final minute when a late comeback came up short.
Just don’t think the Beavers can bottle up the Huskies for an entire game. During a conversation with Craig Robinson, the Oregon State coach talked about how the Huskies feed off of momentum plays and he’s right. All it takes is a steal or a dunk and UW is off and running.
OSU’s 1-3-1 zone has negatively impacted shorter guards, but Isaiah Thomas told me he’s improved against it every time he’s faced it. In the last outing, he had 19 points. Today will be his fourth time against the Beavers’ zone.
And as good as their zone is, if Quincy Pondexter was able to squeeze out 20 points last time and Matthew Bryan-Amaning looks as if he’ll be able to provide a scoring punch as well.
Meanwhile, Oregon State is the worst shooting team in the conference. They’re able to score points, but they just don’t shoot the ball very well.
Stopping Calvin Haynes is the key. He’s the only Beaver who can consistently get off his own shot. Freshman guard Jared Cunningham is another player to watch. He’s starting to understand how he can be effective. He scored 20 points Thursday after not doing much in the previous games.
Finally, I think incentive plays a major role. The Beavers have struggled with success since Robinson has taken over two years ago and OSU is feeling pretty good about itself after winning two straight and securing a decent seed in next week’s Pac-10 Tournament.
The Huskies are playing for higher stakes. They’re focused on the NCAA tournament knowing full well a loss drops them out of the bubble conversation.