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Doc's College Basketball Weekend Preview by Max
Now that conference play is heating up, Doc's Sports will key in on one big contest each weekend. Check back for the weekly writeup each Friday!
Conference play is just underway and this will be the first weekend of play for the major conferences. Non-conference records can be misleading since some teams have taken initiative and challenged themselves by playing ranked teams on the road or at neutral venues. Other programs took the high road by scheduling easy wins against teams that no one has ever heard of and that some cannot even pronounce. This route usually leads to inflated records and as an expert; Doc's Sports will take full advantage of the situation against some weak lines. The following will preview the upcoming slate of weekend games and look for deciding angles that may be the turning point in each of these contests.
A great match-up takes place late Saturday night at Pauley Pavilion, when the Washington Huskies come into Westwood to play the UCLA Bruins. Both teams have started hot. The Huskies stand at an impressive 12-1 and the Bruins have compiled a respectable 7-3 record. Washington has challenged themselves more then UCLA, winning the Great Alaska Shutout and playing tough road games at Gonzaga and at Loyola Marymount. UCLA did travel to East Lansing, but came away with a 12-point loss to go along with a 10-point home loss against Boston College. Both teams have athletes and this game will come down to the Bruins ability to defend SG Nate Robinson. Robinson, who is averaging 17.7 points per game to go along with five dimes. He makes his teammates better and he is one of the few candidates in line for PAC-10 Player of the Year.
UCLA has firepower of its own with Dijon Thompson and Ryan Hollins. Both are talent post players that have the ability to stretch the floor and hit the mid-range jump shot. Standout point guard Cedric Bozeman is still on the injury list but, once he returns, this team has a chance to become a force in the Conference. With six seniors, experience could be the difference in many games.
We expect the Huskies to open somewhere around a six-point favorite. Like we previously mentioned, the difference in the game will come down to the effectiveness of Nate Robinson. If he produces the kinds of numbers he has been putting up, UW will be the side to take. However, if Coach Ben Howland can come up with a gameplan to stop him, UCLA may be in this game until the very end. Be sure to check back on Saturday, as we will be releasing this game as one of our top plays.
This is one of the few games taking place on Saturday where the number may be low. Most other games features a preseason contender against a preseason pretender. I fully expect double-digit spread in numerous games from the powerhouse conferences. That does not mean that the picking will be light. Doc's Sports plans on releasing a six-unit selection on Saturday from the Big Ten Conference and we have yet to lose a top-game this season. We are really zoned in and have yet to have a losing day since December 14, 2004. Be sure to check back with us on Saturday for the winner between UCLA and Washington.