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January 4, 2014 at 12:34 AM

Guess the UW Score contest: No. 1 Arizona

Not too late to sign up and enter to play Pick & Roll. It’s a season-long, 10-week contest in which readers pick Pac-12 men’s basketball games. Your lowest weekly score will be dropped, so only the nine highest weeks will count toward your overall points total.

The grand prize this year is a 16 GB iPad mini (valued at $329).

Judging from the first night of the Pac-12 season, it’s going to be an unpredictable conference race. Utah nearly knocked No. 10 Oregon from the ranks of the unbeaten before losing in overtime in the final second.

And Washington traveled to Arizona State and upset the Sun Devils 76-65.

Not many posters in the Guess the UW Score contest had faith in the Huskies, myself included. However, nchusky picked UW 72-68 and samoz13 had the Dawgs winning 70-66. They came the closest to the final score.

Nicely done guys.

Contact me via email (pallen@seattletimes.com) or Twitter to claim your prize.

Wonder how many folks UW fans jump back on the Husky bandwagon following Thursday’s win.

Let’s get to it.

TODAY’S PAC-12 SCHEDULE:

Washington (9-5, 1-0) at No. 1 Arizona (14-0, 1-0), 11 a.m. PT …………………. Pac-12 Networks
Oregon State (8-5, 0-1) at Utah (11-2, 0-1), 1 p.m. ……………………………….. Pac-12 Networks

Pick: Utah
Pac-12 tally: 2-3
Season tally: 99-25

AND THE UW-ARIZONA WINNER IS …

The Wildcats 65-55.

Washington wants to be a stingy defensive team while Arizona specializes in shutting down opposing offenses. Saturday’s game could be a low-scoring contest judging by their performances on Thursday.

The Wildcats suffocated Washington State en route to a 60-25, which was the fewest points for the Cougars since 1938. The Cougars converted just 9 of 45 field goals (20 percent).

When asked his take on Arizona’s performance, UW coach Lorenzo Romar said: “Confirmation. They’re awfully good. They defend you.”

It’s going to be critical for the Huskies to score as many easy baskets as possible, which means getting stops, getting rebounds and pushing the ball in transition.

Coach Lorenzo Romar put it best when he said: “Once (Arizona) gets back and they’re set, you have all these panthers back there ready to pounce. Tthese Dobermans, man. It makes it a little more difficult to score. If we can get out and get some easy baskets, that would definitely help our cause.”

The Huskies did a fine job defensively while limiting Arizona State to 36.6 percent shooting from the field. It’ll by important for Washington to defend without fouling. The Huskies will be able to double team in the post because Arizona is an average three-point shooting team. A few teams have used zone to combat Arizona’s big front line, but Romar believes strongly in UW’s man-to-man schemes.

Saturday’s game should be an interesting matchup between C.J. Wilcox and Nick Johnson, who defended the UW star in previous contests. Johnson is a superb athlete, but at 6-3 he doesn’t have the size to prevent 6-5 Wilcox from getting good looks at the basket.

However, the game will likely by decided by the serious chess match involving Arizona forwards Aaron Gordon, the 6-9 freshman, and 6-8 sophomore Brandon Ashley. They have a 4-5 inch size advantage over Wilcox, 6-4 Mike Anderson and 6-3 Andrew Andrews.

But it’s unlikely the Wildcats big men will have the speed and quickness to defend UW’s guards on the perimeter. The Huskies can negate Arizona’s size with accurate three-point shooting. Expect the UW players to attack the rim in hopes of getting baskets or drawing fouls.

It’s been 10 years since Washington beat a No. 1 team. The Huskies have lost 11 in a row against top-25 opponents since a 77-75 overtime victory over then-No. 16 Arizona on March 12, 2011. And they’re 1-6 in the past seven games at McKale Center.

So maybe Washington is due for an upset.

0 Comments | More in Guess the UW Score | Topics: Arizona

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