Preview & Prediction: By
The Pac-10’s two top scoring
teams play a key contest at Pauley Pavilion tonight. #20 UCLA
(19-8,8-4) looks to snap a 2-game losing streak after a pair of losses at
Arizona and Arizona State. The Bruins need a win tonight to have a chance
to win their fourth-straight Pac-10 title. #22 Washington (19-6,10-3)
has taken over first place in the Pac-10 and a win tonight would give them a
season sweep of UCLA and propel them towards their first Pac-10 championship.
A little surprised to see UCLA over an 8-point favorite tonight, but they do fit
a solid home profile for winning games off back-to-back losses taking on another
winning team. The Bruins should be at their best in terms of effort
tonight, but their strong senior forward is not at full health, as Alfred Aboya
has not practiced this week while fighting the flu. The Bruins star PG
Darren Collison and freshman Jrue Holiday, along with senior swingman Josh Shipp
should be a great match-up with Washington PG Isaiah Thomas and shooting guard
Justin Dentmon. Holiday has struggled in recent games with some erratic
play, while Thomas has been one of the league's best guards in his freshman year
with Dentmon playing to an all-league level in his senior season.
Meanwhile, on the interior the Huskies are one of the nations top rebounding
teams led by All-Pac-10 performer John Brockman and Quincy Poindexter.
Pondexter is finally playing to the high level expected of him when he came to
Washington three season’s ago. Washington won the first meeting 86-75
nearly a month ago, and while they have averaged 83 ppg in Pac-10 play, the
Huskies failed to top 75 points in their two most recent road games and Stanford
and California, two teams that are near the bottom in FG defense in league play.
The Bruins should bring their best on the ball and man to man defensive pressure
Washington has just one win in their last 22 tries at Pauley Pavilion, and while
this may be their best chance with strong supporting personnel, experience says
that the Bruins should bounce back and perhaps get some key calls that eluded
them last weekend at ASU. A close, entertaining contest falls UCLA’s way.
Winner: UCLA Margin: 2-5 points
*Made on 02/06. Full preview by the GameNight staff coming soon!
First in the Pac-10 might be on the line here. Washington got the best of the
Bruins in Seattle, but the venue will make all the difference on Thursday night.
Early Prediction: UCLA