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Husky Men's Basketball

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March 8, 2012 at 6:49 AM

Thursday morning links: Previewing today’s games, reviewing first-round action

Gotta to believe the Pac-12 Tournament is going to get better with the arrival of the top guns today. The first day was pretty disappointing on the court, in the stands and off the court.
Here’s a look back and a preview of what’s ahead.
FIRST-ROUND GAMES:
Oregon State 69, Washington State 64: Beavers coach Craig Robinson said in years past OSU (18-13) would have lost this game because it didn’t have the maturity to make plays in the clutch. Devon Collier scored 19 points, Joe Burton 15 and Eric Moreland 11. Brock Motum led No. 9 WSU with 18 points. Steve Kelley writes: “It has been a Groundhog Day-kind of season for the Cougars, a season that ended with this loss. It was a season of what-ifs and almosts that died with a final 10 minutes of misery.” The Cougars (15-16) are hoping for a postseason invitation from the NIT or CBI.
UCLA 55, USC 40: For some reason, UCLA takes a bus to Staples Center even though the team hotel is across the street. Joshua Smith arrived late to the bus, walked to the arena and beat the Bruins to the arena only to discover he would be benched in the first half. Weird. Even the UCLA players admitted the game was ugly, but they didn’t seem to care. The Bruins (19-13) were happy to survive and advance. USC (6-26) finished with a school-record number of losses, however coach Kevin O’Neill will return next season. The 12th-seeded Trojans were led by freshman Byron Wesley with 13 points and Garrett Jackson with 11.
Stanford 85, Arizona State 65: Thank goodness for Stanford’s Chasson Randle or else Wednesday would have been a complete disaster. He was the only player who played Wednesday with a sense of purpose and he had a monster game scoring a career-best 30 points. At one point, the freshman guard had 27 and ASU had 30. Stanford improved to 21-10. Chanse Creekmur and Jordan Bachynski scored 11 points apiece for the 10th-seeded Sun Devils who finished a miserable season at 10-21.
Colorado 53, Utah 41: Andre Roberson had 20 points and 11 rebounds — his third double-double this season against Utah — and Colorado (20-11) pulled away in the second half. He broke a 57-year-old single-season rebound record. Jason Washburn led No. 11 Utah with 11 points. In their first season in the conference, the Utes (6-25) struggled away from home where they were 0-13.
TODAY’S QUARTERFINALS:
No. 1 Washington vs. No. 9 Oregon State, 12:10 p.m. (FSN):
Here’s our story on the Huskies who are seeking their third-straight tournament title. Here’s a UW-oriented advance of the game from the Everett Herald, News Tribune and GoHuskies.com. The Beavers failed to beat Washington in both attempts during the regular season, but they’re hoping the third time is the charm.
No. 4 Arizona vs. No. 5 UCLA, 2:10 p.m. (FSN): The Wildcats left star freshman guard Josiah Turner behind in Tucson. He didn’t make the trip to Los Angeles and has been suspended indefinitely. It’s his third strike and chances are he will not return. Turner is the second Arizona freshman to get suspended. Sidiki Johnson was kicked off the team earlier this season. Losing Turner means the Wildcats are without a quality ball handler. He struggled this season, but was voted honorable mention to the Pac-12’s all-freshman team.
No. 2 California vs. No. 7 Stanford, 6 p.m. (FSN): Cal senior guard Jorge Gutierrez, the Pac-12 player of the year and defensive player of the year, has struggled recently and he’s got a lot of pressure to carry his team to a deep run in the tournament.
No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 6 Colorado, 8:40 p.m. (FSN): The Ducks are firmly on the NCAA tournament bubble and they know a loss today could leave them out of the 68-team tournament.

Comments | Topics: top 25, UCLA

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