Highlighted Games for Thursday, 2/1

Highlighted Games for Thursday, 2/1
Feb 01, 2007, 03:33 am

-OREGON AT UCLA (Pac Ten) (***Pod System Implications***). Two solid pod system teams who are in the hunt for a #1 seed go at it at Pauly Pavilion tonight. Oregon won the first meeting on a last second shot, but will have a much tougher time winning on the road, especially since UCLA is coming off a close loss to Stanford, and will be ready looking to rebound from that. This game could end up affecting who finishes first in the Pac Ten, as well as which of the teams ends up a #1 seed.


-WASHINGTON STATE AT ARIZONA (Pac Ten). Washington State beat Arizona earlier in overtime this season, which was one of their biggest wins of the season so far. Arizona has been on a tailspin lately having lost four of their last five and needs to snap out of it. It won’t be easy tonight, but in the event they do win it would go down as a quality win, so depending on how one looks at it it’s a good opportunity. Arizona probably needs this one a little more than Wazzu, but it’s a big opportunity for both teams. As was the case last time, it’s an intriguing match-up considering the contrasting styles of play. Zona likes the transition game and Wazzu likes to slow it down and force a half court game. Earlier this year Wazzu controlled the pace, which may have been one of the reasons they were able to win it.

-WASHINGTON AT ARIZONA STATE (Pac Ten). After a terrible start to conference play, Washington managed to win two big games against Oregon and Oregon State. They still have a lot of work to do and need to take care of business tonight against a lowly Arizona State team.

-OLD DOMINION AT DREXEL (Colonial Athletic). Drexel is still within reach of receiving serious consideration for an at-large bid, but they need to dominate the rest of the season. Old Dominion blew them out when they met earlier this year, and they need to avenge that and prove to the committee that they can beat them at home. VCU’s loss last night keeps them in the mix among the teams at the top, and finishing at or very near the top helps them out. They need to win this one though. They’re at home and they’re playing a team that doesn’t appear to be tournament caliber.

-OREGON STATE AT USC (Pac Ten). USC remains in good shape as far as an NCAA Tournament bid goes. One thing that is notable is that their RPI is just 52, but that isn’t too big a concern, especially considering that if they continue to play well in conference it will improve by quite a bit between now and the end. However, playing poorly won’t give them much to fall back on as far as their RPI is concerned. They need to win this game at home against a conference opponent that doesn’t appear to be of postseason caliber.

-DUKE AT VIRGINIA (ACC). Virginia has won some big games recently, and enters this one with a ton of momentum. Duke appears to be a solid pod system team, and will remain that way regardless of the outcome of this game. This means much more to Virginia, who is right on the bubble, has played well their last few games, and can use a big conference win in order to improve their resume.

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