There’s no bigger supporter of Husky hoops on this blog than sequimdawgbob, who practically nailed last Friday’s Guess the UW Score contest.
He wrote: “I’m thinkin’ a big spread but I don’t think the Cougs will get 60. Dawgs 73 – 51. Crunch ’em Mighty Dawgs!”
Washington clobbered cross-state rival Washington State 72-49.
Great job Mighty SDB. Please contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Twitter to claim your prize. FYI: Time is running out to redeem prizes. If I owe you a hot dog and soft drink, this will likely be the last week to collect this season.
Still no movement at the top of the GTUWS season standings. There’s a seven-way tie between two-time winners: andorsjorstad, nwpdxdawg, irwin m. fletcher, progressive dawg, dawgpound99 and Htop. Hoping someone can break away from the pack in the remaining couple of weeks.
OK, let’s move on.
Big game for Washington today, but then they’re all big games at this point. Tip off is at 6 p.m. at Alaska Airlines Arena and we’ll preview the game and keep you updated on the action with a GameCenter live chat that begins at 5:30 p.m.
Thanks and good luck with your predictions.
TODAY’S PAC-12 SCHEDULE:
UCLA (22-7, 11-5) at Washington (16-13, 8-8), 6 p.m. PT … ESPN2
USC (19-19, 1-15) at Washington State (9-19, 2-14), 8 p.m. …… ESPNU
Pac-12 tally: 73-27 (.733)
Season tally: 172-50 (.775)
WASHINGTON – UCLA PREVIEW:
Despite winning the past two games by 20-plus points, Washington is a 4-point home underdog against a UCLA team that has been the second best team in the Pac-12 since the start of the season.
Due to the unbalanced schedule, this is the first meeting this season between the Huskies and Bruins and coach Lorenzo Romar acknowledged Thursday’s contest feels a little bit like a nonconference game.
“It’s UCLA,” he said. “We play them every year so you can’t associate UCLA with nonconference. But this is the first time we’ve played them and it’s a new system that’s different from last year. … It’s weird to be playing someone in your conference for the first time in March.”
Romar, a former UCLA assistant, is very familiar with the storied program. But the Huskies haven’t seen this version of the Bruins, which has adopted an uptempo offense under new coach Steve Alford.
“They have multiple weapons on that team,” Romar said, alluding to six UCLA players who have scored at least 20 points in a game this season. “They have multiple guys who can put the ball in the basket. And it’s all spearheaded by maybe one of the most versatile players in college basketball Kyle Anderson. He does it all.”
It will be interesting to see how the Huskies defend the 6-9 sophomore point guard, who is a matchup nightmare due to his size, skill and versatility. Anderson is complimented by sweet-shooting guards Jordan Adams and Norman Powell on the wings and twin brothers David and Travis Wear, a pair of workman-like 6-10 forwards.
It wouldn’t be a total surprise if the Bruins advance to the NCAA tournament Sweet 16 because they’re as good as any team in the Pac-12, including Arizona. Talent has never been an issue with UCLA. Much like his predecessor Ben Howland, Alford has struggled at times this season to get the Bruins to play hard and focused. Too often they look like a collection of all-stars with differing agendas and unstable chemistry.
When the Bruins are rolling offensively, they can smash teams like Stanford (91-74) and Colorado (92-74). But UCLA has also lost 74-69 at Utah and fell 71-67 Oregon State, which suggest Washington has more than a puncher’s chance Thursday. If the Huskies play like it has in the past two games and UCLA, which is 4-3 in Pac-12 road games, is less than stellar than UW can capture its biggest win of the season.
The pick: Washington 67-62.