Nov. 21, 2016
Pac-12 11/17 Preview
Well, we've already had some interesting results in conference play, from Oregon State losing to Lamar, Washington losing to Yale and Oregon splitting its first two games. Here's the breakdowns for tonight's Pac-12 games:
#16 UCLA vs San Diego
UCLA should be able to run away with this one, as the San Diego Toreros have lost both games (@ San Diego St and vs Samford) while coming off a less-then-stellar 9-21 2015-16 season. Two games in, UCLA is sitting at 2-0 while averaging 110.5 points per game. Cal State Northridge stifled the Bruins with 20-forced turnovers, which needs to be cleared up while the Bruins prep for challenging games. Bryce Alford leads the team with 25 points while having hit 8-13 from range (61.6%), while TJ Leaf is chipping in with 17 points and 10.5 rebounds. Highly heralded Lonzo Ball is giving Steve Alford 16 points, 8 rebounds, 8.6 assists and two steals per night, while hitting 10-14 (71.4%) from the field and 4-7 (57.1%) from range. It would shock me if UCLA didn't run off to 3-0 against the Toreros.
Prediction: UCLA 89-68
#4 Oregon vs Valparaiso
Coach Altman was weary of a high ranking playing to the Ducks heads, and a loss to the Baylor Bears may be a blessing in disguise to get the Ducks back to playing Duck-Ball. The Valpo Crusaders aren't going to be a lay-over for the Ducks, as Valpo is coming off a 30-win season, in which they lost to George Washington in the NIT Finals and are sitting at 3-0. Oregon can't get Dillon Brooks back fast enough before they head off to Maui. Oregon should walk out with the W, though it won't be easy.
Prediction: Oregon 71-64
Arizona State vs Northern Iowa
Bobby Hurley has Arizona State headed in the right direction, coming off two lopsided victories, albeit against lower-tiered sides, and has a nice test coming up against a Northern Iowa side that won 23 last year with a Round of 32 appearance in March, losing to third seed Texas A&M in double overtime. Northern Iowa is coming off a 74-37 win over a DIII foe, and will look to get a solid win. A part of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, the winner will face the winner of Oklahoma/Tulane, and that should be the Devils.
Prediction: ASU 69-61
Washington vs Cal-State Fullerton
Fultz balled for the Huskies in a loss against Yale. Fullerton is coming into the game with a 2-0 record, one of those being a 77-28 victory against CalTech, which, in all reality, shouldn't count. Washington can't afford many more slip ups if they wish to make any sort of noise during the 2016-17 campaign, and Fullerton really shouldn't be able to challenge them.
Prediction: Washington 74-59
Stanford vs Weber State
Stanford is off to a 2-0 start, including a nice win over Cal-State Northridge by nearly 30 (96-69), though Weber State shouldn't be as easy of a victory with CSUN having so many new pieces. The Wildcats were projected to win the Big West but are off to a shaky 1-1 start, with the win coming off against a D3 side and a one point loss against Pepperdine.
Prediction: Stanford 85-57
Colorado vs Louisiana-Monroe
The final of a three game home stand, the Buffaloes will face a weary WarHawks side that got disposed off by the Texas Longhorns without much of a fight. The Buffs have a tough game against Notre Dame on the horizon and can use all the momentum before facing off against the Irish.
Prediction: Colorado 79-64