Thursday’s action proved once again that the Pac-12 is not only the worst major basketball conference, but it is also the most unpredictable.
Last-place Cal beats first-place Washington, but the Huskies still claim the outright regular-season conference title because second-place Arizona State loses to Oregon by 28 points? Stanford crushes Washington State by 48 points? Arizona, left for dead two weeks ago, upsets Oregon State in Corvallis for the Wildcats’ third straight win?
The only game that made any sense at all was UCLA’s win over USC, and that game had plenty of crazy moments.
As the glass-half-full announcers are sure to say, “It’s going to be helluva conference tournament.”
Undeterred (well, maybe slightly deterred) we forge ahead with our picks for the weekend, feeling less and less confident each passing day.
Thursday: Jeff 2-3, Jake 1-4
Season: Jeff 65-27, Jake 59-33
Utah (15-12, 9-5) at Colorado (16-11, 7-8), 3 p.m. (ESPNU)
Jake: Utah’s Tim Allen (back) is questionable and that may be enough to doom the Utes on the Buffaloes’ home court. Pick: Colorado
Jeff: Sedrick Barefield is coming off a 33-point performance in the Utes’ most recent game at Washington State. He’s primed for another big game here. Pick: Utah
Washington State (11-17, 4-11) at Cal (6-22, 1-15), 4 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks)
Jake: The Cougars are coming off a 48-point loss, while Cal beat the conference champs, so this should be an easy pick, right? Not in this conference. Pick: Washington State
Jeff: The Bears are on a roll — 1 in a row. Wasn’t inclined at the start of the week to go with Cal here, but a 48-point loss by the Cougars? So, with great trepidation . . . Pick: Cal
Arizona (17-12, 8-8) at Oregon (16-12, 7-8), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Jake: Arizona and Oregon are suddenly playing like they were expected to play all along. But the Ducks are at home. Pick: Oregon
Jeff: The Pac-12’s two biggest under-achievers (and the list is long) collide in Eugene. The Ducks won at McKale, they will win at home. Pick: Oregon
Washington (22-6, 13-2) at Stanford (15-13, 8-8), 1 p.m. (ESPN2)
Jake: The Cardinal trashed Washington State on Thursday, but may not have point guard Daejon Davis (foot) against Washington, which will be madder than a hornet. Pick: Washington
Jeff: UW’s vaunted defense couldn’t stop . . . Cal? Wouldn’t want to be at the Huskies’ practice Friday. Pick: Washington
Arizona State (19-9, 10-6) at Oregon State (17-10, 9-6), 5 p.m. (ESPNU)
Jake: Arizona State was taken to the woodshed by Oregon on Thursday, so the erratic Sun Devils should respond with a big game. Pick: Arizona State
Jeff: The Sun Devils’ balance on the NCAA tournament bubble is becoming more precarious by the day. They’d better not give the selection committee a reason to ignore them. Pick: Arizona State