March 7, 2007
Pac-10 tourney questions
The Pac-10 tournament is beginning, and here are five things to watch for as Stanford goes for the upset.Will UCLA dominate? Dominate may be a strong word, but the real questions is whether or not somebody can beat UCLA. It will not be easy, as the Bruins are basically playing at home. However, it certainly is not outside the realm of possibility. Should the play, Stanford will have a solid chance.
The Cardinal match up well and can give the Bruins some fits. USC and Oregon are two teams that should be able to give the Bruins a run for their money, but if we have learned anything, we have learned that the Bruins are going to be very difficult to beat no matter who they play.
Will Anthony Goods be back? It may seem like a minor story line, but it could mean a world of difference. Goods is easily Stanford's best guard and if Stanford is going to win the tournament, the Cardinal must get a major effort from Goods.
A healthy Goods means that Stanford has a legitimate shot of winning the conference tournament but without him, it seems highly unlikely. If he is out, Mitch Johnson is going to have to step up in a big way and for some that is not necessarily the most comforting thought.
Can the Huskies step up? Washington's win over UCLA could have given Washington the momentum necessary to make a little run. The Huskies are certainly talented but for some reason, Washington has not been able to utilize that talent.
It is very possible that Washington has an upset or two, but it is also just as possible that they go out in the first round. It will be interesting to see which Washington team shows up, as it could change things drastically if the better Huskies' team is the one that shows.
The battle of the point guard. Aaron Brooks of Oregon, Goods, Mustafa Shakur, Darren Collison, and Ayinde Ubaka make up a very strong group of players.
Most of the teams in the conference will only go as far as their point guard takes them and with so many good point guards in the conference, it will be fun to watch. Which point guard is the best? The season says it was Collison, but there is still plenty of basketball to go and plenty of time for another to step up.
Will it live up to the hype? This is being touted as one of the most exciting conference tournaments ever and it really should be a hotly contested one. The question remains, however, if it can live up to its hype. The initial thought here is that it will, but previous competition has shown that it may not wind up being all it is cracked up to be.
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