Remind me to never again add the football game to the Guess the UW Score contest. Tabulating the results was a nightmare. It didn’t help that the basketball game and the Alamo Bowl were ridiculous in terms of the points generated.
Needless to say we low balled the scores. There was nearly a perfect prediction in the basketball game, but no one had a good read on the football game.
The predictions were all over the place and yet we had a tie in this crazy contest.
Congratulations to justinholidaycanplay who predicted an 83-82 UW men’s hoop victory and forecast a 48-27 Baylor win while dawgpound99 had the Huskies winning the basketball game 83-79 and losing the football game 42-32.
Washington beat Oregon State 95-80 on the hardwood and lost 67-56 in the Alamo Bowl.
(Side note: Last season dawgpound99 was a double winner and one of seven season-ending winners.)
Great job folks. Contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Twitter to claim your prizes.
Not sure we’ll ever do that again.
OK let’s move on. For the first time ever, there’s a full slate of six conference games today so let’s get to it.
TODAY’S PAC-12 SCHEDULE:
UCLA (7-6, 0-1) at California (11-3, 1-0), 1 p.m. (FSN)
Arizona State (4-8) at Arizona (9-4), 2:30 p.m. (FSAZ)
Oregon State (10-3, 0-1) at Washington State (8-5, 0-1), 3 p.m. (ROOT)
Utah (3-9) at Colorado (8-4), 5 p.m. (ROOT)
USC (5-9, 0-1) at Stanford (11-2, 1-0), 3:30 p.m. (FSW)
Oregon (10-3, 1-0) at Washington (7-5, 1-0), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Picks: Cal, Arizona, Colorado, OSU and Stanford
AND THE UW-OREGON WINNER IS …
The Huskies 85-80.
Both teams scored season highs Thursday. Washington put 95 points on Oregon State and Oregon tallied 92 in a win at Washington State.
The Ducks shot 69.4 percent from the field and the Huskies shot 51.4 percent. It’s unlikely Oregon will continue its red-hot shooting. The Ducks were 9 of 16 (56 percent) on three-pointers. And expect the Huskies too cool off a bit as well.
Thursday’s game is an indication Oregon coach Dana Altman isn’t afraid to play at an uptempo pace, but he’ll likely change his strategy against a Washington team that arguably has more talent and athleticism.
He tried to slow things down the last time he played Washington and lost 69-51 in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals. The Huskies split the regular-season games winning 87-69 at home and losing 81-76 at Matthew Knight Arena. In the defeat at Oregon, the Huskies were 11 of 27 on three-pointers and 5 of 11 at the free throw line. The Ducks converted 19 of 23 free throws.
Tony Wroten Jr., the Pac-12’s leading scorer, is going to draw a lot of attention and he’ll need to make adjustments according to how the defense is playing him. Oregon is likely fall back into a zone to protect the basket give him the jumper or force him to pass whenever he drives.
Expect the Ducks to use a strategy similar to the plan South Dakota State utilized in UW’s embarrassing 74-51 defeat at Edmunson Pavilion on Dec. 22.
Oregon will likely want to make it a half court game and force the Huskies to run offense and shoot on the perimeter. Washington will need to be creative, patient and smart offensively. Abdul Gaddy and Wroten must take care of the ball while finding holes in the zone. It’s generally easier to attack a zone from the wings rather than the top of the key. It’s also imperative they look to draw fouls and create scoring opportunities for the big men.
Terrence Ross and C.J. Wilcox will get open looks on the perimeter. In the loss at Oregon, Ross took 10 shots and nine were three-pointers. He made four, but didn’t attempt a free throw. Wilcox led UW with 14 points – 11 in the second half – in the Pac-10 tourney game. He made 3 of 7 three-pointers, but also connected on 3 of 3 free throws.
Defensively Washington will see a lot of screens. Oregon had 20 assists and 17 turnovers against Washington State. The Ducks leading scorer Devoe Joseph had five turnovers. Forward Olu Ashaolu scored a game-high 23 points in 24 minutes off the bench against the Cougars relatively weak front line. He hadn’t scored more than nine points in the previous seven games.
Rebounding is also going to play a large role in the outcome. Oregon is 6-0 when it wins the battle of the boards, but the Ducks aren’t a good rebounding team. It’s difficult to box out when playing a zone, and the Huskies need to attack the rim when shots are attempted.