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January 15, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Guess the UW Score contest: California

Unfortunately it’s too late to enter and play Pick & Roll if your intent is winning the grand prize 16GB iPad mini. But if you like picking Pac-12 men’s basketball games and keeping track of your scores, then sign up and play.

Checked the P&R standings and I’m 208th in a field of 599. Ouch!

Maybe I should start taking advice from backspin and nwpdxdawg who won last Sunday’s Guess the UW Score contest. Backspin predicted Washington would beat then-No.15 Colorado 66-57 while nwpdxdawg had the Huskies winning 71-62. Washington won 71-54.

Good job guys. Please contact me via email (pallen@seattletimes.com) or Twitter to claim your prize (hot dog and a soft drink at a UW home games).

FYI: The GTUWS season leader is andorsjorstad with two wins.

Late night for the Huskies so there’s plenty of time to get your picks in.

TODAY’S PAC-12 SCHEDULE:

Washington State (8-8, 1-3) at Stanford (10-5, 1-2), 7 p.m. PT ….. Pac-12 Networks
Washington (11-6, 3-1) at California (12-4. 3-0), 8 p.m. ……………. ESPNU

Pick: Stanford.
Pac-12 tally: 14-8. Season tally: 111-30.

AND THE UW-CAL WINNER IS …

The Huskies 65-63.

Cal is an 8.5-point favorite, which seems a little high considering the way Washington has been playing lately. But then, the Golden Bears have been on a roll as well recently. They’ve have won four straight games. They’re also unbeaten (8-0) at Haas Pavilion this season.

A year ago, Washington dominated Cal 62-47 in a physical game in which they won the rebounding battle 43-28. The Huskies held the Bears to 37.7 percent shooting from the field (20-53) and 1 for 6 on three-pointers. Last year, Cal had Allen Crabbe, who won the Pac-12 MVP award, and it can argued they were much better a year ago.

Expect UW to employ a similar tactic, which worked perfectly last time. The Huskies will likely focus on slowing down fifth-year senior guard Justin Cobbs, who leads Cal in scoring with 15.1 points per game. UW probably likes the one-on-one matchup inside between burly Perris Blackwell and Richard Solomon, who has been a finesse player for most of his career.

It’ll be important for UW to keep David Kravish moving offensively because he’s a deadly spot-up shooter and not so great off the dribble. It’s also key for UW to keep Cobbs and Kravish off the free throw line because both shoot over 85 percent from the charity stripe.

If the Huskies can control Cobbs, Solomon and Kravish, then they can live with whatever damage Tyrone Wallace and Jordan Matthews¬†deliver so long as Matthews doesn’t go off like he did when he had 32 points at Oregon last week. The X-factor could be freshman Jabari Bird, who is expected to return Wednesday after missing the past four games with an ankle injury.

Washington may need another big night from C.J. Wilcox, who scored a career-high 31 points Sunday. Last year, he had a game-high 19 points at Haas Pavilion. And the Andrew Andrews-Cobbs matchup is an interesting pairing because they’re similar in size and ability.

For Washington, the X-factor could be Nigel Williams-Goss, who has been surprising consistent for a freshman point guard that averages over 30 minutes.

 

Comments | More in Guess the UW Score, Pac-12 news | Topics: California

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