TOPPING THE PREDICTION FRIDAY SPORTS ZONE
NFL CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY AND UA-STANFORD PREVIEWS
(SEE TENTATIVE SHOW SCHEDULE BELOW)
THURSDAY, JANUARY 18, 2018
FROM THE SCOREBOARD
*SAINT MARY'S 74, GONZAGA 71: Saint Mary's, a 7 1/2 point road underdog, took control of the Western Coast Conference winning at Spokane behind the dominating play of 6-11 center Josh Landale who finished with 26 points on 12 of 15 shooting ... STATISTICALLY SPEAKING - This was one of the most entertaining games of the college season with the teams combining to make 59 of 104 field goals with just 13 turnovers and 15 fouls ... THE BOTTOM LINE - Down the stretch, Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett, a Mesa product, outwitted his more heralded Gonzaga counterpart Mark Few.
*OREGON STATE 69, UCLA 63: Oregon State, a one-point home underdog, dominated down the stretch, something it could not do when ASU and the UA rallied to win during the second half last week ... STATISTICALLY SPEAKING - The Beavers outscored the Bruins 10-3 over the final 2:16 ... THE BOTTOM LINE - UCLA losing a second straight game is not good for the conference, which, right now, has just two locks for the NCAA Tournament (ASU and the UA).
*USC 75, OREGON 70: USC, a 3 1/2 point underdog, took advantage of highly questionable shot selection by Oregon to snap a long skid against the Ducks ... STATISTICALLY SPEAKING - Dana Altman's team continually launched often contested three pointers, making just seven of 23 that prevented the Ducks from getting to the charity stripe where they made 11 of 11 ... THE BOTTOM LINE - The Trojans ended a 14-game losing to Oregon and won for the first time in Eugene since 2011.
*UTAH 66, WASHINGTON 60: Utah, favored by 7 1/2, watched a 13-point lead shrink to four with two minutes remaining, before holding on in Salt Lake City ... STATISTICALLY SPEAKING - Utah Justin Bibbins was by far the best player on the floor with 20 points and five assists plus 10 rebounds for the 5-8 point guard ... THE BOTTOM LINE - The Utes and Huskies will be competitive on most nights but neither are threats to reach the NCAA Tournament unless they win the Pac 12 Conference Tournament.
*COLORADO 82, WASHINGTON STATE 73: Colorado, favored by 8 1/2 points, dominated most of the game, except for a midpoint of the second half stretch when its 23-point lead was briefly cut to five ... STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: CU freshman point guard McKinley Wright IV continues to be one of the more valuable players in the conference - 17 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals ... THE BOTTOM LINE - CU has won four of five beginning with the ASU upset two weeks ago tonight.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2018
FROM THE SCOREBOARD
*STANFORD 86, ASU 75: The Sun Devils, for one of the rare times this season, was outhustled while leading scorer Tra Holder was awful for a second consecutive game ... STATISTICALLY SPEAKING - Holder was three of 14 from the field, including one of six from behind the arc ... THE BOTTOM LINE - ASU failed in its quest to reach .500 in conference play after six games heading into Saturday's near automatic win at Cal, by far the worst team in the conference.
HALFTIME - STANFORD 37, ASU 35: Neither team was able establish its preferred style with ASU unable to get into transition and Stanford not dominating inside ... STATISTICALLY SPEAKING - Tra Holder was scoreless on zero of seven from the field, this after he made just one of nine in ASU last Saturday's win over Oregon State. He is one of 16 over those two games ... THE BOTTOM LINE - Stanford, surprisingly, had a 18-9 scoring edge from behind he arc.
*UA 79, CAL 58: The most talented team in the Pac 12, even shorthanded, pulled away during the final 12:00 against the the least talented team in the conference ... STATISTICALLY SPEAKING - The Wildcats were efficient (62 percent from the field and 58 percent from behind the arc) when not turning the ball over (a season-high 17) ... THE BOTTOM LINE - The UA has won 12 of its last 13 games heading into Saturday afternoon's game at Stanford ... INJURY NOTE: Rawle Alkins sat out with soreness in his previously broken right foot - x-rays negative, according to Sean Miller.
HALFTIME - UA 36, CAL 26: The UA overcame a turnover plagued half by hitting seven of its last eight shots from behind the arc ... STATISTICALLY SPEAKING - The UA outscored Cal from behind the arc 21-3, but turned the ball over 12 times leading to 12 Cal points ... THE BOTTOM LINE - The Wildcats shot 70 percent against their outmatched opponents.
WE WILL HAVE MORE ASU-STANFORD AND UA-CAL IN THURSDAY'S 11:15 SEGMENT IN THE SPORTS ZONE
THE LAS VEGAS ANGLE
(ALL LINES FROM WESTGATE)
*THE LATEST LINE: ASU 3 1/2 Stanford ... UA 14 Cal 150 1/2
*PREDICTIONS: Stanford 82, ASU 80 ... UA 80, Cal 70