No actual World Financial Group-sponsored Pac-10 basketball games will be played on President’s Day. But that’s okay. I, along with the sports fans at World Financial Group, am still excited to see Pac-10 men’s basketball any day of the week, holiday or no. And, if you are in the mood for basketball on a holiday, four games are on the schedule for Valentine’s Day.
Let’s recap last week’s hardwood action. UCLA was victorious over USC in the “Battle for Los Angeles” and over Notre Dame. Both Arizona and Arizona State won over both Oregon and Oregon State, and California won both of its games over the Washington schools. Stanford upset Washington State, but Washington upset Stanford.
Three Pac-10 schools find themselves in the ESPN/USA Today top 25 poll. UCLA is the highest ranked at 6. Not too far behind is Arizona State at 18. Washington almost closes out the top 25 at number 24. Also receiving votes were California (tied for 37) and Arizona (tied for 40). However, only two Pac-10 schools are in the AP’s top 25. UCLA is looking into the top ten at number 11. Arizona State is 18 again. However, Washington (at 27) and California (32) have been relegated to “receiving votes.” If it were up to us at WFG, we’d put you in that poll.
This week’s hoops action started with one game on Tuesday, February 10. The Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners visited Palo Alto to take on the Stanford Cardinals. CSU Bakersfield hoped to snap a two game losing streak while Stanford is fresh off a defeat by the hands of Washington. Although the team lost against Washington, Cardinal junior forward Landry Fields scored a career high 22 points and had 10 rebounds for his third double-double this season. CSU Bakersfield hopes to avenge their loss to Stanford almost ten years ago. However, Stanford owned the hardwood 85-50 and their 11th straight non-conference victory.
On Thursday, February 12, everyone at World Financial Group will be following these games:
The Oregon Ducks pay a visit to Pullman, WA and the Washington State Cougars. Both teams hope to end their losing streaks of 11 and 3 games, respectively (the Ducks are still looking for their first Pac-10 victory). Oregon freshman forward Drew Wiley scored a career high 18 points against Arizona last week, including five three-pointers. Washington State freshman forward Klay Thompson averaged 17.3 points per game over his last four. And the game tips off at 7 PM PT.
The Oregon State Beavers will make a trip to Seattle to play the Washington Huskies. Oregon State hopes to snap their two game losing streak while Washington hopes to build on their one win. The Beavers’ defense has only allowed 54.5 points per game over their last four. The Huskies will play six of their final eight games at home, where they are 12-1. Look for the hardwood to heat up at 8 PM PT with TV provided by FSN NW.
Two nationally ranked teams will play as the UCLA Bruins will cross state lines and visit the Arizona State Sun Devils. UCLA still leads the Pac-10 while Arizona State is only a game and a half behind them. UCLA senior center Alfred Aboya is averaging 14.5 points over his last four games. Arizona State coach Herb Sendek will coach his 500th game for the Sun Devils and recently became the second youngest active coach with 300 Division I wins (way to go, Coach Sendek!). This 7 PM start will be seen on ESPN.
The USC Trojans will visit the Arizona Wildcats. While USC hopes not to lose two in a row, Arizona is building on five wins in a row. USC junior guard Dwight Lewis has scored double digits in 16 out of 20 games this season, including a 20 point performance against UCLA last week. Arizona junior forward Chase Budinger has had only six turnovers in his past five games, compared to averaging 20.2 points in that span. FSN will televise this 8:30 PM local time game
And, as mentioned, four games will be played on Valentine’s Day (but none on Friday the 13th; is it a coincidence?). WFG sports fans will be following:
The Stanford Cardinals will travel to Berkeley to play the California Golden Bears. California is on a two game win streak, led by junior guards Patrick Christopher and Jerome Randle. Both these gentlemen scored their 1,000th career point in the same game versus Washington State last week. This game will tip off at 2 PM PT on FSN
Oregon tips off against Washington at 12 noon on FSN
UCLA visits Arizona at 11 AM PT on a CBS televised game
Oregon State will travel to Washington State for a 4 PM PT game on FSN NW
And Sunday, February 15 sees USC travel to Arizona State for an 8 PM local tip on FSN. Apparently, men’s college basketball will leave the greater Los Angeles area for President’s Day.
Finally, everyone at World Financial Group is proud of UCLA senior center Alfred Aboya. His performances against USC and Notre Dame have earned him the Pac-10 Player of the Week award. In fact, he’s scored double figures in four straight games. Way to go Alfred!