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Pac-10 Finals Preview

March 13, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments




Pac-10 Conference Finals Preview

Preview by Scott Allen

(1) Stanford vs. (2) Washington
The best the Pac-10 has to offer meet in today’s conference championship game at Staples Center with Stanford looking to knock off the team that ruined their perfect season exactly one week ago. The Huskies defeated UCLA and Arizona to reach today’s final while the Cardinal got by Washington State and Oregon. Both teams are seeking their first Pac-10 Tournament championship. Stanford shot just 39 percent in Washington’s 75-62 upset in Seattle, as Matt Lottich got in early foul trouble and finished 1-for-11 from the floor. Chris Hernandez led Stanford with 21 points in that game, but the balanced Washington attack (five players in double figures) and a 10-point halftime deficit in front of a raucous crowd was too much to overcome.

The key for Stanford will be defense. An already stellar Cardinal defense is fortified inside with the return of Justin Davis to the lineup. Nick Robinson and Josh Childress combined to shutdown Luke Jackson in the semifinal victory and should be equally strong against Washington. What makes the Huskies dangerous, however, is that they have so many offensive weapons. Washington had six players in double figures against Arizona and if head coach Lorenzo Romar can get the type of bench production he got against the Wildcats (40 points), the Huskies could take the decision out of the hands of the selection committee with a win. Washington forward Mike Jensen, who had 13 points in the upset of Stanford, has scored just 12 points in the past two games. He needs another big game against the Cardinal for the Huskies to make it two straight. On offense, it’s hard to imagine Stanford replicating its 5-for-24 performance from long range in the last meeting again today. Look for Davis to get more touches inside and the Cardinal to own the rebounding battle in a tight game.

Precition: Stanford 80, Washington 78

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