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January 5, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Morning links: In defeat, Washington gains respect

The video highlights (above) don’t reflect just how close things were in Washington’s 71-62 loss at No. 1 Arizona on Saturday. The Huskies had the lead for most of the second half. They were up by six early in the second half. They led with about 10 minutes left and trailed by two with just over 3:30 remaining.

No such thing as moral victories, but Washington has to feel pretty good after pushing the top-ranked Wildcats nearly to the brink at their place.

Here’s the game stories in the Arizona Daily Star, News Tribune and Associated Press. The Daily Star also had this sidebar on Arizona’s big men wearing down the Huskies. And here’s a couple of photo galleries from the AP and Daily Star.

The Pac-12 Networks nabbed Aaron Gordon for a post-game interview.

SUNDAY MORNING LINKS:

— To get a sense of how bad the Pac-12 has been the previous four seasons consider this. Today’s game between No. 10 Oregon and No. 20 Colorado is the first regular-season meeting between two ranked conference teams since Feb. 26, 2009. On that day No. 21 Washington beat No. 14 Arizona State 73-70 in overtime at Edmundson Pavilion.

— The game of the day is in Boulder, Colo. where No. 10 Oregon meets No. 20 Colorado. Both teams are chasing a bit of history. The Buffaloes (12-2, 1-0) are looking to start the season at 13-2 for the first time since the 1968-69 season.

— With a win today, Oregon ties the best ever start in school history.

— The offseason comments from new USC coach Andy Enfield, who dissed new UCLA coach Steve Alford, adds a bit of spice to today’s Pac-12 opener between the two Los Angeles schools.

— Following an upset to Washington in the conference opener, Arizona State believes it faces a must-win game today against Washington State.

— Meanwhile the Cougars are trying to rebound from a 60-25 shellacking to No. 1 Arizona on Thursday. Coach Ken Bone told the Spokesman-Review: “Under the circumstances where we got beat so bad, hopefully it’s given us time to regroup and talk about our offense and try to get things right for (Sunday).”

— No hangover for Utah, which brushed off Thursday’s heartbreaking overtime loss in the Pac-12 opener against No. 10 Oregon. Behind a career-high 23 points from Brandon Taylor, the Utes knocked off Oregon State 80-69. Utah (12-2, 1-1) had five players in double-digit scoring. Here’s the video highlights.

— Oregon State (8-6, 0-2) begins the Pac-12 race with two straight defeats and falls to the bottom of the conference standings. Eric Moreland, in his first start since rejoining the team this week following a suspension, scored four points. Roberto Nelson (16 points) was the only with at least eight points.

– Arizona is nearly halfway towards reaching its goal of raising $30 million for McKale Center renovations. The entire project will cost $80M. Gotta admit, the new $2M video board is fancy.

TODAY’S PAC-12 SCHEDULE:

USC (9-4) at UCLA (11-2), noon ……………………………………………………. Fox Sports 1
No. 10 Oregon (13-0, 1-0) at No. 20 Colorado (12-2, 1-0), 2 p.m. ……… Fox Sports 1
Washington State (7-6, 0-1) at Arizona State (11-3, 0-1), 3 p.m. ……….. ESPNU

The picks: UCLA, Colorado and ASU
Pac-12 tally: 4-3
Season tally:  101-25

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