Staff picks: Accenture Match Play, UA basketball and Olympic hockey

Mark Armao, Joey Putrelo, and Fernando Galvan

Arizona men’s basketball at Colorado
I’m (a mile) high on Arizona basketball’s chances to take down Colorado in the Buffs’ own building. The Wildcats showed a lot of grit against Utah on Wednesday. However, I expect a much closer game than Arizona’s 69-57 win on Jan. 23. The UA downgrades a notch, or sometimes five, away from its home crowd.
Arizona 65, Colorado 60

Men’s Olympic hockey gold medal
After the USA women failed to hold a two-goal lead against Canada, the American men’s squad knows it has to take gold. If any country can beat another at its own game, it’s the U.S. Finland has momentum on its side after an enormous upset of Russia. Regardless, the USA/Canada winner will go on to take the gold.
United States over Finland

Accenture Match Play Championship
Where’s Tiger and Phil? Oh well, this tournament is still loaded. Because he went to the UA, I know Jim Furyk really wants to win. I really liked Jimmy Walker, who’s already won twice in 2014, but he lost to Rickie Fowler, so I’m going to go with Bubba Watson, who is coming off of a win.
Bubba Watson

—Follow Joey Putrelo @JoeyPutrelo

Arizona men’s basketball at Colorado
Coming off of a strong performance against ASU, the Buffs should be a tough matchup for an Arizona team that has proven it’s completely beatable. That said, I look for Aaron Gordon to return to form after scoring only three points against Utah, and a Wildcats win.
Arizona 71, Colorado 62

Men’s Olympic hockey gold medal
I’m no hockey expert, but I do love me some Olympics, so I’ve been paying a little attention. From what I’ve seen, the American offense is rolling, and Finland looks solid, too. But I have to go with history and say our syrup-chugging neighbors to the North will win the gold.
Canada 3, Finland 2

Accenture Match Play Championship
It’s too bad Tiger didn’t come to Tucson this year, but the match-play should be interesting as always. With no clear favorite, I’m going with Jason Dufner. Whether he’s taking an hour to perform his pre-shot waggle, or patting his wife’s butt on national television, the Duffman just amuses me, and for that he deserves $1.5 million.
Jason Dufner

—Follow Mark Armao @MarkArmao

Arizona men’s basketball at Colorado
Arizona is coming off of a win in Utah, and I believe it will close out this road trip with a win in Boulder. The Buffaloes beat ASU by nine points on Wednesday, and will be a challenge for the Wildcats. However, if the UA wants to claim the Pac-12 Conference title, it needs to finish the season strong.
Arizona 76, Colorado 73

Men’s Olympic hockey gold medal
The four remaining teams are evenly matched going into this weekend’s gold medal game. The winner will come down to star players and dominant performances. My pick to win the gold is team Canada, led by one of the best players on the planet, Sidney Crosby, and a proven winner in Roberto Luongo at goalie.
Canada 5, Finland 3

Accenture Match Play Championship
It doesn’t feature any of the big name players in golf, so I am going with experience and picking Ernie Els to win it. I don’t have a whole lot of reason in picking Els other than the fact that he has been on the tour for some time and is due for a win.
Ernie Els

—Follow Fernando Galvan @fgalvan35