Before we get to today’s pick, let’s recap last week’s Guess the UW Score contest. What a great finish to the Pac-10 season.
The Huskies capped the season with a 77-75 overtime win over Arizona to capture the conference tournament crown and we had two posters guess the exact score. That’s a first in the two-year history of this contest.
Congratulations to Jon May and scgotts. It’s the second win in in three games for scgotts who moves into a six-way tie with the double winners this season.
We may only have one more game this season. Who knows? If that’s the case, here’s a list of the double winners: scgotts, musca, mjlaw, wayupwaydown, UMontW and dawgpound99.
Great job guys.
Ok let’s move on to today’s game (time Pacific).
No. 7 Washington vs. No. 10 Georgia, 6:45 p.m. (CBS)
Record: 62-33 Pac-10, 128-56 overall.
AND THE UW-GEORGIA WINNER IS …
The Huskies 76-70.
Here’s the UW-UGA scouting report and the pick I made for the newspaper.
Las Vegas says the Huskies are a 5 1/2-point favorite, which seems about right to me. I can also see this game being a blowout if Washington can impose its will, establish a quick tempo and force Georgia to work hard offensively.
If the Bulldogs don’t score easy baskets, I don’t think they have enough offensive creativity, depth and talent to keep pace with the Huskies. Washington averages 83.5 points per game, which is 14th in the country. Georgia averages 68.8 points.
The Huskies are likely to pack the middle and dare the Bulldogs to shoot from the outside. Don’t be surprised to see UW’s 2-3 zone.
Georgia has made just 151 three-pointers this season, which ranks 300th in the country. Junior guard Dustin Ware is UGA’s only real perimeter threat and the only player in the seven-man rotation who shoots better than 40 percent behind the arc.
Containing Georgia’s front line is essential. The Bulldogs do an outstanding job at rebounding, which may be a byproduct of their bad shooting.
All-SEC forward Trey Thompkins could be a problem for Washington. The 6-10 forward is one of a few Bulldogs who can create a shot for himself. Thompkins likes the ball on low block and does his best work when he’s rubbing off of screens. But he can also step out and knock down a mid-range jumper.
Georgia has great difficulty against small guards and Isaiah Thomas should have no trouble getting into the lane. He’ll draw defenders and if he can get the ball to UW’s wings, then they can make the game easy by converting three-pointers.
Look for UW to pressure Georgia’s guards. The Bulldogs are 161st in the nation in turnovers per game and they also don’t force many turnovers. Georgia is 258th in the country in turnover margin.
There’s a belief the Bulldogs are just happy to be here. It’s their first trip since 2008 and they only have one player with NCAA tournament experience.
However, Washington believes it can make a deep run. Considering their draw that could be tough, but losing tonight would be a major disappointment.