There has been some exciting events over the past few weeks that I as well as my colleagues at WFG – and you, the reader – have been witness too. A new president was inaugurated in Washington. An airliner had a landing on water that was nothing short of a miracle. The NFL whittled down the ranks to decide who would play in the Super Bowl. And the World Financial Group (WFG)-sponsored Pac-10 men’s hardwood has really taken to the heart of intra-conference play.
To recap what happened last week, a duel in the desert led off the action. Arizona State handled Arizona by a 53-47 decision. But Arizona bounced back later in the week to take care of Houston in overtime. Stanford took care of Oregon, but lost to Oregon State. Meanwhile, Oregon State also defeated California, but the Golden Bears kept Oregon winless in the Pac-10. Washington State went 0 for 2 in the Golden State, as they lost to UCLA and USC. WFG saw both the Los Angeles teams lose to Washington. The Huskies now sit at number one by their lonesome in the Pac-10.
In the rankings, however, Washington can’t seem to get any love. The Huskies are ranked 30th in the ESPN/USA Today listings but come in at number 23 with the AP. The Sun Devils of Arizona State come in at 14th for both polls. UCLA, though, finds itself at 16th with ESPN and 17th with the AP. Apparently the pollsters can’t agree on this one. California, however, find themselves at 31 with ESPN and 37 over at the AP. Maybe they can get into that top 25 this week.
And speaking of this week, the Pac-10 got started with its action early this week. The Oregon State Beavers played out of conference against the Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners Monday evening to a 65-59 win. At halftime, the game was all even at 34. But the Beavers had a 7-0 run to start the second half and victory was assured. The Roadrunners did make things a little too interesting late in the game by cutting a 13 point deficit to just four.
World Financial Group-sponsored PAC-10 games will hit the hardwood over the next few days. Thursday, January 29th sees the following:
· The Washington Huskies traveled to the McKale Center to take on the Arizona Wildcats. Overall, Arizona leads this series 41-22 and Washington has yet to lose to a Pac-10 rival on the road yet. Wildcat junior Chase Budinger leads the Pac-10 in minutes played per game. The Huskies boast a 0.816 percentage from the free-throw against their Pac-10 teams. When the two teams met, it was Arizona winning 106-97.
· The Washington State Cougars are also on the road in Arizona. But they take on the Sun Devils at Wells Fargo at 7 PM local time. Washington State hoped to snap a two game losing streak while Arizona State hoped to build on their two game win streak. Although the Cougars lost to UCLA recently, senior forward Caleb Forrest had a great game, scoring a career-high 19 points. Sun Devil coach Herb Sendek will win the 300th game of his career should Arizona State hold down home court. Washington State arrived ready to play and did so to a 65-55 win.
· The first game in the Los Angeles area that day, the home of many WFG offices, found the Stanford Cardinals at USC’s Galen Center for a 7:30 PM local time tip-off, with television coverage provided by FSN PT. The visitors lost their last game while the Trojans won their last. Cardinal senior guard Anthony Goods delivered the… okay, he reached over 1,000 points in his Pac-10 career against Oregon last week. Trojan junior guard Daniel Hackett played all 80 minutes last week against the Washington teams. In the end, though, USC defended their home hardwood with a 70-69 win.
· And the second Los Angeles game this day found the Golden Bears of California take on the Bruins of UCLA. The tip was at 7:30 PM local time with TV provided by FSN. California junior Theo Robertson leads the Pac-10 in three point scoring. UCLA has yet to lose on a Thursday night against Pac-10 teams in 31 games. And, after this game, the streak was extended to 32 games. UCLA beat California 81-66
On Saturday, January 31, World Financial Group-sponsored PAC 10 games included:
- The Battle for Oregon found itself at Gill Coliseum as the Beavers hosted the Ducks. This game was at 4:30 PM local time with TV coverage provided by FSN NW. The Ducks sought their first Pac-10 victory while Oregon State won their last two contests. Oregon hasn’t gone 0 for Pac-10 since the 1992-93 season, when they dropped their first eleven Pac-10 games. Oregon State, meanwhile, swept the San Francisco Bay Area teams last week for the first time since the 1992-93 season. And Oregon is still seeking that first Pac-10 victory; Oregon State won 57-54
- Washington State lost to Arizona 66-56
- Stanford lost to UCLA 97-63 on ABC
- Washington handed Arizona State an 84-71 loss on FSN AZ/FSN NW
- California lost to USC 73-62 on FSN
Finally, we at WFG tip our hat to Oregon State junior center Roeland Schaftenaar. Roeland, an international business major, was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for his performance against California and Stanford. This Netherlands native averaged 20 points, 5 assists and 2 steals over those two games. Thanks to his performance, Oregon State has equaled its Pac-10 wins from the last two years… combined. Way to go Roeland!