No. 14 Arizona State Sun Devils +4 (21-5) 14-8 ATS, 11-10 O/U at No. 21 Washington Huskies -4 (20-7) 16-8 ATS, 15-10 O/U Thursday February 26, 2009 Bank of America Arena, Seattle, Washington 11:00 p.m. EST, TV: FSN Northwest
By Wilson of Predictem.com
The Pac-10 title could be on the line tonight as the Arizona State Sun Devils leave the desert and travel to Seattle where they hope to heat up the Huskies and steal a win on the road. The Huskies are currently a half game ahead of the Sun Devils in the Pac-10 race but ASU will bring their A game as they have all season, which is a big reason why they are the No. 14 team in the country.
The Huskies are averaging 79.4 points per game and the catalyst behind the Huskies attack has been the consistent play and scoring of the backcourt in guards Justin Dentmon and Isaiah Thomas who combine to average 32 points per game. Thomas is the conferences No. 1 scorer. He paces the Huskies with 15.9 points per game. Washington is the highest scoring team in the Pac-10 and they rank 3rd in rebounding.
Huskies senior guard Justin Dentmon is currently 14th on the schools all-time scoring list with 1,346 points. He will look to continue his offensive attack tonight but he will also be a threat on defense as he is 2nd all-time in steals for the Huskies. The Huskies are the best perimeter defensive team in the conference as they close out extremely well on shooters and have great help defense.
Another huge obstacle for the Sun Devils tonight will be the presence down low of Husky senior Jon Brockman who is pulling down 11.3 boards per game. Brockman is also on the watch lists for the Naismith Trophy and the John R. Wooden Award which is given to the countrys top player.
Arizona State comes into the game feeling pretty good about themselves as they should with a 21-5 mark overall and 10-4 in the Pac-10. The Sun Devils have won five straight games and have a road record of 6-2 this season.
Defense is the name of the game for this years Sun Devils. ASU is second in the conference in scoring defense, they allow just 58.9 points per game to their opponents, and they are the best in the Pac-10 when it comes to defending the 3-point shot.
Junior James Harden leads the league in scoring with 21.2 ppg. The Huskies will have their hands full trying to contain the top scorer but the home court advantage may lend a hand of its own. The Huskies knocked off UCLA in Seattle earlier this season as they have a history of beating great teams at home. ASU senior Jeff Pendergraph will battle with the Huskies Brockman in the paint. Pendergraph is fourth in the Pac-10 in rebounding, and offensively, he leads the conference in field goal percentage by making 66.8 percent of his attempts.
Both teams will be in relatively new territory tonight as neither has won an outright title in quite some time. The Huskies won the Pacific Coast Conference title in 1953, and shared the Pac-10 title in 1984-85 under Marv Harshman. ASUs highest finish has been 2nd place since they joined the conference in 1979. The Huskies might have the edge tonight as they are at home, and have not lost consecutive league games and have won 18 of their last 22 games.
Sportsbetting and other online sportsbooks have the Huskies at -4 with the total at 141.5. If you are looking to get some action on this game you may want to look at defense for both teams and consider the under. I dont see either team scoring a ton of points as both defenses are solid.
Wilsons Pick: Arizona St. plus the points. Luck to ya.