Few posters predicted Stanford’s upset victory and only two correctly picked all four games Thursday.
Congratulations to mpolo and Baby Yao.
And in the Guess the UW Score game, hardly anyone predicted the Huskies would win a low-scoring 59-52 contest. But we had a big winner: Co Dawg , who said UW would win 65-56. Nice job.
Okay, let’s move. Just a couple of games left.
No. 1 California vs. No. 5 UCLA, 6: p.m.
No. 3 Washington vs. No. 7 Stanford, 8:40 p.m.
Both games televised on FSN.
My pick: UCLA.
Pac-10 record: 79-65.
And here’s a couple of polls to weigh in on today’s games.
AND THE UW-STANFORD WINNER IS …
The Huskies 80-72.
Just a bad matchup for the Cardinal, which has lost the last five games to Washington. Second-year Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins implemented an up-tempo style that is tailor-made for the Huskies who also like to run.
UW has scored at least 75 points in the past five games against Stanford and the Cardinal might be wise to steal a page from Oregon State’s game plan, pack the middle and force the poor-shooting Huskies to shoot from the outside.
But that’s not how the Cardinal play. It likes to get out in the open court and exploit mismatches created by senior G/F Landry Fields and sophomore G Jeremy Green. They’re both explosive players capable of scoring 30 points.
They’re also perimeter-oriented players who will likely receive plenty of attention from F Justin Holiday, an All-Defensive team pick in the Pac-10. Holiday has had marginal performances in the past two games, but he’s at his best when he can lock onto a player and take him out of the offense.
Even though their leading scorers Quincy Pondexter (cold) and Isaiah Thomas (left hand) aren’t completely healthy, the Huskies should score enough points to win because Stanford doesn’t have the perimeter defenders to keep them out of the lane or an imposing front line to alter shots around the basket.
Look for Matthew Bryan-Amaning to have a big game against Jack Trotter and Andrew Zimmerman.
And finally, endurance could play a role in the outcome. Fields played 40 minutes last night and Green logged 37. They’re critical to Stanford’s success whereas Washington has more scoring options other than Pondexter, who played 38 minutes last night, and Thomas (36).