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Archive for March 13th, 2008

GAME THREAD: Pac-10 Tournament, (3) WSU vs. (6) Oregon

Posted by Jeff Nusser on March 13, 2008

No. 21 Cougars (23-7 overall, 11-7 Pac-10) vs. Ducks (18-12, 9-9)

Staples Center (Los Angeles), 6 p.m. PDT

Of the four games today, I look for three of them to be great. This should be one of them.

I find that these previews get harder and harder to write as the season goes along, because there just aren’t a lot of secrets out there between teams when they play a second and third time. But there are some interesting statistical trends with the Ducks that can give us some insight into how this game might unfold.

Oregon comes into this game having won three straight to revive its Tournament hopes — Joe Lunardi has them in the field as a No. 11 seed today — but I’d caution against getting too worked up about the Ducks being hot.

Real Duck Fan commented on another post this morning that this Oregon squad is a different team this time around, I’m guessing largely because of the recent winning streak. It’s not. It’s the same team, looking to do what it’s always done — shoot the ball with abandon — only doing it a lot better over the past three games, almost all of that attributable to opponent and location.

The first win in the “streak” came at Oregon State, so throw that one out the window. The last two came at home against Arizona State and Arizona. Now, those aren’t two walkovers, but those are the fifth- and seventh-place teams in the conference. And the games were at Mac Court, where the Ducks are 12-3 … and never to play again. They’re just 6-9 in road and neutral contests — like the one they’re playing tonight.

The common thread between the home wins and the road losses, generally speaking, is offense.

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Robbie Cowgill: No. 34 in your program, No. 1 in the classroom

Posted by Jeff Nusser on March 13, 2008

Robbie Cowgill was named the Pac-10 scholar-athlete of the year today. Here’s an excerpt from the WSU release.

A management and operations major, Cowgill is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree. He has been named to the Pac-10 All-Academic First Team the past two years, the WSU Athletics All-Academic Team all four years, and is a two-time Cougar Pride Academic Salute and WSU Libraries Scholar-Athlete of the Week honoree. An honors college enrollee, Cowgill has a 3.36 grade point average and will graduate in May.

Congrats, Robbie. Winning with class.

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GAMES THREAD: Pac-10 Tournament, quarterfinals

Posted by Jeff Nusser on March 13, 2008

This is the spot for your discussion of the games not directly involving the Cougs today — that is, if you’re lucky enough to have a television at work or happen to work nights or or are a deadbeat without a job.

Here’s today’s schedule with my predictions. All games Pacific Daylight Time. All games on FSN. (Hooray for regional coverage of our showcase event! Thank you Tom Hansen!)

  • (4) USC vs. (5) Arizona State, noon — Sun Devils know a win more or less would guarantee them a spot in the tournament, but USC is red hot. Incidentally, ASU handed USC its only loss in the last six games. I think Tim Floyd has USC playing its best basketball at the right time for the second year in a row. Should be a great way to kick it off. Pick: USC.
  • (1) UCLA vs. (9) Cal, 2:30 p.m. — A rematch of the best game of last weekend. This one won’t be even remotely that close. Pick: UCLA.
  • (3) WSU vs. (6) Oregon, 6 p.m. — You’ll have to come back for the Coug game thread for the breakdown, but my pick should be obvious. Pick: WSU.
  • (2) Stanford vs. (7) Arizona, 8:30 p.m. — The Cardinal are not playing their best right now. They nearly lost to UW and WSU at home, then got beaten on the road by both Los Angeles schools. (Although I’ll concede they got screwed at Pauley.) Here’s the day’s only upset. Pick: Arizona.

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