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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Staff Picks

    No. 7 Stanford at Arizona


    On paper a Nic Wise-less UA squad will have no chance in this one, but if we’ve learned anything thus far, it’s to expect the unexpected in the Pac-10. And you’ve got to like the confidence of UA forward Jordan Hill guaranteeing a victory when he’s got to battle a pair of talented 7-footers. I say Hill puts up respectable numbers and holds Brook Lopez in check as Arizona pulls off its third straight top-10 upset. And if not? Beware of the wrath of K.O.

    Arizona 61, Stanford 57

    -Michael Schwartz, sports writer

    Two is greater than one. That is simple, first grade mathematics. Stanford’s seven-foot twin towers Brook and Robin Lopez will be too much for Arizona in the paint. The Wildcats had difficulty containing ASU’s Jeff Pendergraph largely in part to Jordan Hill getting into foul trouble early, and if Hill is forced to the bench, the Lopezes will have a field day. And if Arizona plays “”fake hard”” or whatever Kevin O’Neill called it after their loss to ASU, this game could be over in the first half.

    Stanford 75, Arizona 56

    -Michael Fitzpatrick, sports writer

    The last time I picked the ‘Cats to take out a top-10 team I’m almost certain I jinxed them to a 30-point loss that carried over into the dreadful sight we witnessed Sunday against ASU. Hoping my reverse psychology pays off, I will say that even if someone decides to join Bayless tomorrow, they will still get trounced. Look for Lopez to score a triple-double with blocks being the third stat and the Cardinal to make us pay if O’Neill decides to switch to zone. Home advantage or not, it won’t be pretty.

    Stanford 82, Arizona 69

    -Jeremy Hawkes, sports writer

    No. 6 UCLA vs. USC


    The Bruins certainly haven’t forgotten what happened Jan. 19 when the Trojans marched into Pauley Pavilion and stole one. But without injured guard Daniel Hackett, who played a monster glue game with eight assists and five boards last time, things will be different this time around. The Bruins will contain Davon Jefferson, who had 25 points in the first meeting, and make a statement to the Pac-10: They’re still the class of the league.

    UCLA 74, USC 67

    -Michael Schwartz, sports writer

    With UCLA coming off their shocking loss to Washington last weekend, I certainly would not want to be USC this weekend. Especially after losing guard Daniel Hackett for the season, USC will be under siege as the Bruins look to regain their place at the head of the Pac-10. The Bruins’ depth and team mentality will triumph over USC’s one-headed monster O.J. Mayo, who had to sell his courtside seats for the NBA’s All-Star game this weekend in New Orleans.

    UCLA 83, USC 67

    -Michael Fitzpatrick, sports writer

    How a team like UCLA could lose to
    Washington after making the UA look like the junior varsity practice squad is beyond me. The fact that UCLA is a complete team will be the deciding factor in this game, and they won’t easily forget how poorly they played the last game. Kevin Love will be the freshman of the game, and O.J. Mayo will be reduced to jacking up impossible shots thanks to UCLA’s stiff defense. USC stole one from Pauley Pavilion, so look for UCLA to steal one right back – in
    dominating fashion.

    UCLA 77, USC 61

    -Jeremy Hawkes, sports writer

    How far will the softball team go this year?


    The Arizona softball team has reached the Women’s College World Series 20 times in the past 21 years. So I’m picking them to fall short because of what happened the one year they didn’t: Head coach Mike Candrea took a leave of absence to coach the U.S. Olympic Team. Well, that’s the scenario this season, and interim head coach Larry Ray doesn’t even have trusty pitching coach Nancy Evans around anymore. With Caitlin Lowe, Kristie Fox and Chelsie Mesa all using up their eligibility as well, the Wildcats will fall just short.

    Loss in super regionals

    -Michael Schwartz, sports writer

    Well, as the desk’s resident doubting Thomas, you should already know my answer. The last time the softball team failed to reach Oklahoma City was four years ago when UA head coach Mike Candrea left to coach the U.S. national team, as he is doing again this year. The team is certainly talented enough, but how will the graduations of Kristie Fox and Caitlin Lowe, the resignation of pitching coach Nancy Evans and the absence of their head coach affect the ‘Cats? Enough to make it matter.

    Loss in super regionals

    -Michael Fitzpatrick, sports writer

    If we have learned anything from UA basketball this year, it’s that losing the man who created the dynasty does not yield top results. If you couple Candrea’s loss with the loss of pitching coach Nancy Evans, you are going to see changes that aren’t always for the best. The team has the talent to go far and will make it to the Women’s College World Series – just don’t expect them to dig from the trenches and get out of the loser’s bracket this year.

    Loss in first game in loser’s bracket

    -Jeremy Hawkes, sports writer

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