03/07/2012 12:00 AM
Pac 12 Tournament: Day 1 preview and picks
Oregon State Beavers vs. Washington State Cougars (3.5, 146.5)
THE STORY: The eighth-seeded Cougars look to beat No. 9 seed Oregon State for the third time this season in a Pac-12 tournament first-round game featuring the league's top two scorers. The Beavers’ Jared Cunningham and Washington State center Brock Motum were both named to the All-Pac-12 first team, and both were part of the Player of the Year discussion. Washington State has won four straight against Oregon State, which averages 79.6 points to lead the Pac-12. The Beavers aren’t nearly as strong on defense, where they allow a conference-worst 72.8 points. The winner plays No. 1 seed Washington on Thursday.
TV: 3 p.m. ET, FSN, Root Sports NW
LINE: Washington State is set around -3.5 or -4 with a 146.5-point total.
ABOUT OREGON STATE (17-13, 7-11 Pac-12): Cunningham averaged 27 points in two games against Washington State this season, and he’s scored in double figures in 22 consecutive games. He leads the Pac-12 in scoring (18.2) and steals (2.6). Ahmad Starks is 10 of 16 from 3-point range over his last three games, but he was 2 of 13 beyond the arc in his last game against Washington State on Feb. 9, when the Beavers lost 83-73. Center Eric Moreland leads the team in rebounding (6.4) and blocked shots (1.8). Oregon State closed the regular season with back-to-back home wins over Utah and Colorado, and the Beavers have clinched a winning campaign for just the second time since 1990.
ABOUT WASHINGTON STATE (15-15, 7-11 Pac-12): After a demoralizing 32-point loss to UCLA last week, the Cougars rebounded with a 43-38 win at Southern California on Saturday. Motum, who was named the league’s Most Improved Player, averaged 25 points and 8.5 rebounds in two games against Oregon State this season. The 6-foot-10 forward is the only Pac-12 player to rank in the top 10 in scoring (18.1), rebounding (6.5) and field goal percentage (54.9). DaVonte Lacy averages 8.7 points, and he scored 18 in the Cougars’ 81-76 win over Oregon State on New Year’s Eve. Point guard Reggie Moore averages 5.3 assists to lead the league, and he had 20 in the two games against the Beavers.
- Washington State has covered in the last four meetings between the two teams.
- The over is 14-6 in Oregon State's last 20.
- Oregon State is 1-6 against the spread in its last seven.
1. After facing the Los Angeles schools last weekend, Washington State remained in Southern California this week instead of returning to Pullman before the Pac-12 tournament.
2. Oregon State is 11-3 when scoring 80 or more points.
3. Motum scored 50.6 percent (45 of 89) of Washington State’s points versus UCLA and Southern California last weekend.
USC Trojans at UCLA Bruins (-12.5, 114)
THE STORY: UCLA enters the Pac-12 tournament in Los Angeles with a chip on its shoulder and a strong finish to the regular season. The Bruins, who won four of their last five conference games, meet cross-town rival USC in the first round. UCLA hasn’t lost since a Sports Illustrated story revealed alleged issues in the program, including incidents which led to the dismissal of top player Reeves Nelson earlier this season. USC has lost nine straight and is down to six scholarship players after injuries decimated its roster. The Bruins won both meetings this season by a combined 29 points.
TV: 5:40 p.m. ET, FSN
LINE: The Bruins are set as 12.5-point or 13-point favorites. The total is sitting around 114.
ABOUT UCLA (18-13, 11-7 Pac-12): The fifth-seeded Bruins concluded the regular season with a 75-69 victory over Washington – the No. 1 seed in the tournament – on Saturday. Senior guard Lazeric Jones, a Pac-12 second-team selection, leads in scoring at 13.4 points, while sophomore forward David Wear, a Pac-12 honorable mention, paces the rebounders (6.1). UCLA, which was picked to win the Pac-12 in the preseason poll, has won two of the past six Pac-12 tournaments (2006, 2008).
ABOUT USC (6-25, 1-17 Pac-12): The 12th-seeded Trojans have lost 18 of their last 19 games, and five scholarship players have gone down with season-ending injuries. Freshman guard Byron Wesley averaged 17.0 points in his last four games, including 23 against Washington on Thursday. Sophomore Maurice Jones, who scores a team-high 13.2 points, leads the Pac-12 in minutes at 38.1 The Trojans allowed the fewest points in the league at 59.8 per game, but were last in points scored (53.0). USC won the Pac-12 tournament in 2009.
- USC is 9-23 against the spread in its last 32 overall.
- UCLA has covered in three straight.
- USC has covered in six of its last eight against UCLA.
1. USC is also last in the Pac-12 in free throw percentage (.610), field goal percentage (.390), 3-point field goal percentage (.275), rebounds (26.9 per game) and rebounds allowed (36.1).
2. In seven of their losses, the Trojans have produced more field goals than their opponent, but were outscored 110-46 at the free throw line in those games.
3. The winner plays No. 4 Arizona on Thursday in the quarterfinals.
Arizona State Sun Devils vs. Stanford Cardinal (-9.5, 124.5)
THE STORY: The 10th-seeded Sun Devils have lost four straight against No. 7 seed Stanford, including a 68-44 rout on Feb. 2 at Maples Pavilion. Arizona State finished a dismal regular season with back-to-back wins, while Stanford beat California on Sunday to keep the Bears from claiming a share of the Pac-12 regular-season title. The Sun Devils are coming off their best game, an 87-80 upset of rival Arizona on Sunday. Arizona State shot 55.8 percent in the win, and they’ll need another strong outing against Stanford, which ranks third in the Pac-12 in scoring defense.
TV: 9:10 p.m. ET, FSN
LINE: Stanford opened as a 9-point favorite but can now be found around -9.5 or -10. The total is sitting at 124.5.
ABOUT STANFORD (20-10, 10-8 Pac-12): Forward Josh Owens, who was named to the All-Pac-12 second team, averages 9.8 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting 64.2 percent in five career games against the Sun Devils. Aaron Bright scored a team-high 16 points against Arizona State last month, and he’s averaging 9.3 points in three career games against the Sun Devils. Stanford outrebounded Arizona State 38-24 in last month’s win, and the Cardinal lead the Pac-12 in rebounding margin at plus-6. Chasson Randle, who was named to the Pac-12 all-freshmen team, is averaging 17.4 points over the past five games. He tallied 14 against Arizona State in February.
ABOUT ARIZONA STATE (10-20, 6-12 Pac-12): The Sun Devils are entering on a high note after scoring 49 points in the second half and recording season-highs in points (87), 3-point percentage (58.3) and free throw percentage (91.7) against Arizona. Carrick Felix scored a career-high 23 points against the Wildcats, but against Stanford last month he shot 1 of 9 for two points. Jordan Bachynski scored 20 points in the win, but leading rebounder Trent Lockett missed the game with an ankle injury. Lockett averages 13.8 points and 5.8 boards, and he had 21 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals Sunday against Arizona.
- The under is 9-3-1 in Arizona State's last 13.
- Stanford has covered in four straight against Arizona State.
- The under is 8-3 in Stanford's last 11.
1. The winner faces No. 2 seed California in the tournament quarterfinals on Thursday in Los Angeles.
2. Arizona State has gone 1-8 in Pac-12 tournament first-round games since 2002.
3. Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins has used 13 different starting lineups in 18 conference games, and 10 players average at least 10.5 minutes.
Utah Utes vs. Colorado Buffaloes (-13, 119)
THE STORY: It is fitting that the two conference newcomers – Colorado and Utah – meet in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament. Both teams are headed in the wrong direction, though. The sixth-seeded Buffaloes were in strong contention for a first-round bye before losing three of their last four games and all hope of receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. The 11th-seeded Utes have dropped 10 of 11, including a 46-point blowout at Oregon on Saturday. Colorado won both meetings this season, including an eye-popping 73-33 victory on Dec. 31. Colorado sophomore forward Andre Roberson was a Pac-12 first-team and all-defensive team selection.
TV: 11:40 p.m. ET, FSN
LINE: The Buffaloes are pegged as 13-point favorites with a 119-point total.
ABOUT COLORADO (19-11, 11-7 Pac-12): Roberson is fourth in the country with 11.2 rebounds per game and tied for 10th with 16 double-doubles. Senior guard Carlon Brown, who leads the Buffaloes in scoring at 12.2 points, was picked for the Pac-12 second team, while guard Spencer Dinwiddie was voted to the all-freshmen squad. Dinwiddie (10.3) is among five Buffaloes who contribute more than 9.4 points. Colorado will need to rely on its depth to make a run in the tournament. Nine players average 10.2 minutes or more.
ABOUT UTAH (6-24, 3-15): Junior center Jason Washburn is coming off a career-high 26-point performance against Oregon on Saturday and must have another big game for the Utes to win. He leads the team with outputs of 10.9 points and 6.1 rebounds. Junior guard Chris Hines provides an outside threat with 9.6 points per game and is first in the conference with 2.7 3-pointers made per Pac-12 contest. The Utes are last in the Pac-12 in scoring margin at minus-14.3 and are in the bottom three in virtually every offensive and defensive category.
- Utah has covered in six of its last seven.
- Colorado is 1-4 against the spread in its last five.
- The under has cashed in five straight meetings between these two teams.
1. Roberson hasn’t recorded a double-double in four games, missing by one point, two points, two rebounds and one rebound.
2. Utah is 0-15 on the road, including 0-3 on neutral courts.
3. The winner plays No. 3 Oregon on Thursday in the quarterfinals at Los Angeles.
Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: