Staff Picks

Arizona vs. Washington State

Kevin Zimmerman, staff writer

If you were to search Wikipedia for cougars and wildcats (something I didn’t do), it would probably tell you that cougars are the larger, more vicious feline. But with the Wildcats cornered – desperate for any wins they can scrape up – look for them to go at the Cougars’ throats. Washington State has a great coach in Tony Bennett, who will have his squad playing solid defense, but he doesn’t have the athletes to cope with Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill.

Arizona 52, Wazzu 49

Ari Wasserman, associate sports editor

The Arizona basketball team has made the trip to the NCAA Tournament for 24 consecutive years, but it looks like that streak is coming to an end. While the Wildcats have come up big in a few games, particularly the comeback against Houston, the fact is the team is the second worst squad in the Pac-10. I would expect Washington State to walk all over Arizona in McKale Center, sort of like what Houston’s Aubrey Coleman did to Chase Budinger, but just on the scoreboard this time.

Wazzu 81, Arizona 64

Tim Kosch, staff writer

Washington State is, for the sake of this weekend’s references anyway, the Pittsburgh Steelers of the Pac-10. They are dead last in offense with just 58.5 points per game, but what they lack in offense they make up for with the conference’s top-ranked defense. Expect them to make an effort to shut down UA’s “”Big Three”” and leave it up to the Wildcat role players to make plays. With the tourney-streak in jeopardy, Arizona must win this game, and they should.

Arizona 67, Wazzu 55

Super Bowl XLIII – Arizona vs. Pittsburgh

Kevin Zimmerman, staff writer

If the law of averages is correct, this pick is a no-brainer. After generations of finding an inconceivable way to lose or losing in embarrassing fashion, the Cardinals have to win this game, right? They rallied behind Larry Fitzgerald against the Eagles, their deadly offense overshadows their underrated defense and after all that, they still feel unrespected. Furthermore, coach Ken Whisenhunt, who knows the Steelers’ personnel fairly well, will have a few tricks up his sleeve.

Arizona 27, Pittsburgh 24

Ari Wasserman, associate sports editor

Lots of people are enjoying the Cardinals’ unlikely run, but the fact of the matter is there’s still one more game. As incredible as Arizona’s run has been, when it sees Pittsburgh’s defense it’s going to be a trip back to reality for a team that was nothing more than average during the regular season. Take one look the Steelers’ secondary and I wouldn’t expect the usual fireworks from Larry Fitzgerald. As fun as it is to follow a Cinderella story, expect the Steelers to rip the Cardinals’ dress off.

Pittsburgh 31, Arizona 14

Tim Kosch, staff writer

About 30 years ago Coca-Cola created one of the greatest Super Bowl commercials of all-time. You know the one – Mean Joe Greene and that little kid? Well this year they are doing the same, only this time it features the ball-hawking, hair-flowing Steelers safety Troy Polamalu. Back when Greene was the star of the ad the Steelers won the Super Bowl. This year’s version will be no different. Sorry Cardinals fans, you can get off the bandwagon now.

Pittsburgh 27, Arizona 16