UCLA (12-9) vs Washington (14-7)
It is a down year for the PAC 12. Part of the reason the league is thought of so poorly this year has been the play of UCLA which started the season with back to back losses to Loyola Marymount and Middle Tennessee State.
Thursday February 2
Alaska Airlines Arena
Moneyline: No money line currently listed
Spread: Washington -3.5
(Bet now at Bovada.lv (Bodog If You’re In Canada))
Since league play began they have been a little bit better and come into the contest off a sweep of Utah and Colorado last weekend.
The Bruins have won only one of five league road games though and this will be a stiff test.
Guard Lazeric Jones – ever heard of him? He is the current leading scorer for the Bruins who seem to be suffering from a talent drain over the last few seasons.
They used to be the best recruiting team on the west coast but now more players transfer out of the program than ever before.
Their most talented player is behemoth center Josh Smith but he has trouble staying in games due to fouls. They will have to try and slow down the pace against Washington to give him a chance to be effective.
The Washington Huskies took care of some business with two road wins in Arizona last weekend. As it stands they are tied for first in the conference with a record of 7-2 but are actually a half game back due to a previous loss to California.
The rest of the schedule looks pretty easy with the toughest game likely being a road visit to UCLA to close the season.
If the Huskies are truly hitting their stride than they might challenge for at large bid with a strong second half.
UW`s win at Arizona on Saturday night showed some heart.
It wasn’t the prettiest game in the world, as the Huskies didn`t even hit 50% of their free throws, but it shows that the Huskies have some real money players with both Tony Wroten, and especially Terrence Ross, coming up with big plays down the stretch.
Once again, the Huskies will have a significant edge on the perimeter and will try to speed up the game.
In the middle Aziz N’ Diaye, who is improving, will have to stand tall against the large front line of the Bruins.
Spread Pick: Washington -3.5
O/U Pick: Over
Score Prediction: Washington 77 – UCLA 70