Frank Sinatra got it right in the classic ‘New York, New York’ when he sang: “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.”
There’s just something about this place. Gotham City makes you hustle no matter what walk of life you’re in. It puts you on edge. There’s no place like it.
And there’s no better venue to watch a basketball game than renovated Madison Square Garden.
No way around it, big night for Washington in the Big Apple against Big Ten powerhouse Indiana.
Before we get to tonight’s game, let’s take care of last Sunday’s contest. The Huskies pulled out a 92-80 win over Eastern Washington.
The Guess the UW Score contest winner was subwayalum, who predicted UW would prevail 93-77.
Good job. Contact me via email (email@example.com) or Twitter to claim your prize.
And for the GTUWS newcomers, here’s how the game works. You make your predictions in the comments section on this thread. The closest to the final score wins a hot dog and soft drink at a Washington home men’s basketball game on me.
Alright then, take it away Ol’ Blue Eyes …
UC Santa Barbara (2-1) at Colorado (4-1), 5 p.m. …………….. Pac-12 Networks
Washington (2-1) vs. Indiana (4-0) in New York, 6 p.m. ………. ESPN2
Washington State (2-0) at No. 13 Gonzaga (3-0), 6 p.m. ……… ROOT
Grand Canyon (1-2) at Utah (2-0), 6:30 p.m. ……………………. No TV
Texas Southern (2-3) at Stanford (3-1), 7 p.m. ………………….. Pac-12 Networks
West Alabama (1-1) at USC (3-1), 7 p.m. ………………………… Pac-12 Los Angeles
Picks: Colorado, Gonzaga, Utah, Stanford and USC
Season tally: 26-6
AND THE UW-INDIANA WINNER IS ….
The Hoosiers 75-70.
Las Vegas oddsmakers say Washington is an 8.5-point underdogs, which seems a little off. Despite it’s perfect record, Indiana is still a team that’s working through the kinks and trying to establish an identity. The Hoosiers are breaking in four new starters and they have 11 underclassmen.
This game sets up to be a classic example of big team versus small team, especially if coach Lorenzo Romar sticks with his regular substitution patterns and brings 6-6 reserve guard Mike Anderson off the bench to replace 6-9 forward Shawn Kemp Jr. at the first media timeout, which is somewhere around the 16-minute mark.
Washington has put four and sometimes five guards on the court at the same time while Indiana deploys a lineup with essentially four forwards 6-7 or taller.
Still, the Huskies can exploit their speed advantage. They can use their quickness and ability to get to the basket to force fouls and score easy buckets in transition.
The trouble for Washington is Indiana also likes to play at a fast pace. The Huskies are 40th nationally in adjusted possessions per game (73.8) while the Hoosiers are sixth nationally at 76.8.
It also remains to be seen if the Huskies can stop Indiana inside. Last week, Washington had no answer for 7-6 UC Irvine center Mamadou Ndiaye. Indiana freshman Noah Vonleh is eight inches shorter, but he’s a skillful big man with a nice mid-range jumper. Wouldn’t be surprised to see UW use a 2-3 zone and force Indiana to score from the perimeter.
It’s the first road games for both teams and there’s no telling who will garner the most fan support at New York’s Madison Square Garden. However, Hoosiers coach Tom Crean noted the other day the New York-metro area has the largest amount of IU graduates outside of Indiana.