Just about everyone who played the Guess the UW Score on Wednesday was way off on their predictions. The only person who was reasonably close was RamDwg who predicted Washington would beat California 55-50. The Huskies won 62-47.
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OK, let’s move on.
TODAY’S PAC-12 SCHEDULE:
UCLA beats Colorado, 78-75
California beats Washington State, 67-54
USC leads Utah 32-23 at halftime
No. 4 Arizona (14-1, 2-1) at Oregon State (10-5, 0-2), 5 p.m. …. ESPNU
Washington (10-5, 3-0) at Stanford (10-6, 1-2), 8 p.m. …………. FSN/ROOT
AND THE UW-STANFORD WINNER IS …
The Huskies 65-60.
Washington is a 6.5-point underdog and most computers believe they’ll lose by 6-8 points.
In many ways the Huskies are playing with house money after winning Wednesday at California and starting 2-0 in the conference with road wins. In the Pa-12, coaches talk about wanting a split when they go on the road.
Regardless of what happens tonight, they’ll return to Seattle with a split in the Bay Area and they can’t far any lower than fifth in the league standings.
However, Washington has won eight of the last 10 games and it seems to be on a roll. At the very least, the Huskies have discovered a formula that will make them competitive in every game. They relentless on defense. They’re talking and switching. Everybody rebounds. Desmond Simmons is throwing his body all over the place and Aziz N’Diaye has made it difficult to score within 5 feet of the basket.
Meanwhile, the Huskies aren’t lighting up the scoreboard, but they’ve found enough scoring to win games.
Stanford will be the most difficult team the Huskies have faced since losing at Connecticut. Unlike UW’s past two opponents (WSU and Cal), the Cardinal has a balanced attack. The Huskies will not be able to focus defensively on a particular player.
However, they would be wise to keep an eye on Dwight Powell.
Here’s coach Lorenzo Romar on matching up with Stanford: “Well it’s definitely going to be different. The other thing that’s different about this game and game planning is that in Brock Motum we felt we had someone who could attempt to try to defend him. Someone that could match up with him. Whether it worked or not, we into the game thinking we could at least try to match up. But we knew when Desmond was out of the game, then we had a tough time matching up with them. Against Cal, whether we stopped them or not, we felt we had at least someone of comparable speed that could match up with their guards. In this game, they have a couple of front line players that step out a lot. We just feel like it’s a little tougher to defend them and game plan for them because across the board, we may not match up very well with them.”
Stanford has struggled all season shooting the ball. The Cardinal might have broken out of its shooting slump on Wednesday when it beat Wazzu 78-67. It was only the second time this season, Stanford shot better than 50 percent from the field. It remains to be seen if the hot shooting is the start of a trend or an aberration.
The Cardinal are tall and long. Stanford starts four players who are 6-7 or taller. There’s just not many places Washington can exploit offensively. Junior Josh Huestis, a 6-7 forward, is a defensive-oriented standout who will likely matchup with C.J. Wilcox. Powell will take N’Diaye, which is going to be a tough matchup for the 7-foot UW center on both ends of the court.
Both teams are stellar defensively, but Washington is a little better offensively and that just might be the difference in the game.