Sunday's Pac-12 Action
February 9, 2013
By Kevin Rogers
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The Pac-12 takes center-stage in a rare Sunday night tripleheader. Nine of the league's 12 teams own a .500 record or better inside the conference, as Arizona is holding onto a slim lead at 8-2. The big question heading down the stretch is if Oregon, Arizona State, or UCLA can catch Arizona for the top seed in the Pac 12 tournament. Several of the middle-tier clubs have an opportunity at a road victory on Sunday, including Cal, who makes a trip to Tucson.
Cal at Arizona - 7:00 PM EST
The Wildcats are riding a four-game winning streak since getting blown out by UCLA on January 24, as Arizona goes for just its fourth cover in 11 conference games. Sean Miller's team failed to cash in Wednesday's 73-66 victory over Stanford as 10 ½-point favorites, dropping the 'Cats to 1-6 ATS in the last seven games as double-digit 'chalk.' Arizona overcame a one-point deficit to outscore Stanford, 47-39 in the second half, while Mark Lyons and Solomon Hill combined for 48 points.
The Golden Bears fell short in a 66-62 defeat at Arizona State on Thursday, while failing to cash as 3 ½-point 'dogs. Mike Montgomery's squad has now hit the 'under' in seven of the last eight contests, as Cal is searching for some consistency on offense. In five of the previous nine games, Cal has scored 62 points or less, but the Bears have eclipsed the 71-point mark three times. The road has been tough for Cal inside the Pac-12, going 2-4 SU/ATS with the only wins coming at Utah and USC.
Arizona has taken four of the last five meetings in the series, but the two teams are meeting for the only time in the regular season. The Bears are making their first trip to Tucson since January 2011 when Cal covered as 13-point underdogs in a 73-71 setback.
Colorado at Oregon State - 9:00 PM EST
The Buffaloes picked up one of their uglier wins of the season in a 48-47 close-shave at Oregon as seven-point 'dogs on Thursday. Each team shot just 36% from the floor, while Colorado had only one player score in double-figures (Andre Roberson - 10), but the Buffs managed their fourth victory in five games. CU improved to 3-1 ATS as an underdog in Pac-12 action, but Tad Boyle's team has lost outright in two road favorite opportunities at Arizona State and Utah.
The Beavers are the hottest ATS team in the conference by covering seven of the last eight games, including five straight in the underdog role. Craig Robinson's squad snapped a three-game skid with Thursday's home rout of Utah, 82-64 as 8 ½-point 'chalk,' while limiting the Utes to 35% shooting from the field. The win was just the second in 10 conference contests, as Oregon State owns a dreadful 1-6 ATS record in lined games off a victory this season.
The home team won each of the two meetings in Colorado's debut season inside the Pac-12, as the Beavers blew out the Buffaloes in Corvallis, 83-69.
Washington at USC - 10:00 PM EST
Both the Huskies and Trojans each own 5-5 records inside the Pac-12, while each club is going in different directions. Washington started conference play at 4-0, but Lorenzo Romar's team is headed backwards with losses in five of the last six games. The Huskies fell at the buzzer in Thursday's two-point setback at UCLA, even though UW covered as seven-point underdogs. In spite of Washington's struggles, the Huskies improved to 8-2 ATS against Pac-12 opponents, including 6-1 ATS mark as an underdog.
The Trojans have split six games since the firing of head coach Kevin O'Neill in mid-January, which includes consecutive wins over UCLA and Washington State. USC pushed as four-point favorites in Thursday's 72-68 victory over Wazoo, the third win in five conference games at the Galen Center. This is the third instance in which the Trojans have are seeking a three-game winning streak, but USC has failed in the first two chances with losses to Illinois and Cal as short favorites.
Washington captured both matchups with USC last season, including a 22-point blowout as 7 ½-point favorites in Los Angeles. The Trojans last beat the Huskies at home in January 2010, while losing three of the last four meetings in Southern California.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.
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