Posted on January 25, 2022
You’ll find the results and updated standings here.
Today’s game features a rematch between Utah and Washington State.
As always, my picks and Stephen Vilardo’s appear at the bottom.
Utah at Washington State
Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum, Pullman, WA
Wednesday, January 26
7:00 pm PT, Pac-12 Network
The Utes played to their potential at home against UCLA last week, flashing the ceiling of Craig Smith’s team in 2021-22.
Yet, bringing the show on the road is the difference between middling and elite teams.
The Utes are an astonishing 3-23 outside of Salt Lake City since opening the 2019 season with a victory in Reno over Nevada.
To turn the tide away from home, Utah must hit its outside shots and limit turnovers. UU shoots 33.8 percent from deep this year while turning the ball over 12.6 times per game.
Limiting extra possessions for the Cougars and capitalizing on looks from three are the tried-and-true ways to win on the road. But it’s easier said than done.
Washington State has size inside that figures to prevent easy looks in the paint, and depth in the backcourt to deal with foul trouble.
That allows Kyle Smith’s team to play aggressively, with WSU holding the fourth-best defense in the Pac-12 according to the KenPom rankings.
And playing against one of the slower tempo teams in the country (Utah is 245th out of 350), the Cougs should utilize their defense to generate enough offense to emerge with the win.
January 25 Previews
Colorado at Oregon
Matthew Knight Arena, Eugene, OR
Tuesday, January 25
7:00 pm PT, Pac-12 Network
Will Richardson is averaging 20.0 points per game over the stretch, leading Oregon to fourth-place in the Pac-12 standings.
The Buffs, on the other hand, have lost three of their last four matchups and slipped to seventh with a .500 mark in conference play.
At 1-7 in Eugene since 2011, Colorado needs a productive night from Jabari Walker and Evan Battey.
True freshman guard K.J. Simpson has made his case to take over the starting role from Keeshawn Barthelemy, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Simpson gets the nod.
He will have to contend with Altman’s press, which often forces opponents to use wings to advance the ball beyond mid-court.
That could create problems for Tad Boyle’s team that already struggles to take care of the ball. With 13.8 turnovers committed per game, the inexperience on the Buffaloes’ roster could be exploited by the Ducks.
If CU commits turnovers early in the game, Oregon could get hot from deep with transition threes and confident treys in half-court sets.
If that happens, this matchup might get out of hand by the middle of the first half.
No. 3 Arizona at No. 7 UCLA
Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, CA
Tuesday, January 25
8:00 pm PT, ESPN
The Wildcats beat the Bruins last time it happened, an 11-point victory in 2018 when UCLA was No. 3 and Arizona was No. 14.
But the two programs have split the four matchups since 2011 when both were ranked, setting the table for the rubber match at the start of the new decade.
UCLA has won five straight in the series, signifying the downturn of Arizona’s program at the end of the Sean Miller era.
Yet, it’s a new day in the desert, and Tommy Lloyd’s system is a night and day change from Miller. The UA offense no longer requires a dominant guard and set plays from its head coach.
Instead, it’s a free-flowing, high-paced scheme that emphasizes transition opportunities and ball movement around the perimeter.
With a variety of players to beat opponents in multiple ways, Arizona can score points in the paint with Christian Koloko, Oumar Ballo, and Azuolas Tubelis.
Or it can hit outside shots with Bennedict Mathurin, Kerr Kriisa, and Justin Kier.
But the Achille’s Heal of the Wildcats is their propensity to commit turnovers. If the Bruins win the turnover battle and score more points off of turnovers, UCLA probably walks away with the win.
January 25-26 Game Picks
—More from Dane Miller—
- 2022 Pac-12 Football Preview: New Faces Key UCLA’s Hopes
- 2022 Pac-12 Football Preview: ASU Fighting Adversity
- 2022 Pac-12 Football Preview: Wildcats Clawing Back
- 2022 Pac-12 Football Previews: Utes Reloading on Defense
- Dane’s Miller’s Top Returning Men’s Hoops Freshmen
- 2022 Pac-12 Football Previews: QB Play Key for Colorado
- Miller: All’s Fair in College Football’s New Free Market
- Dane Miller’s Post-Spring Pac-12 Football Power Rankings
- Miller: Pac-12 Hoops Attendance a Measure of Success
- Dane Miller’s WSU-Texas A&M Semifinal NIT Preview
- Dane Miller’s Pac-12 Sweet 16 NCAA Preview
- Dane Miller’s Washington State Quarterfinal NIT Preview
- Dane Miller’s Pac-12 Second-Round NCAA Previews
- Dane Miller’s Pac-12 Second-Round NIT Previews
- Dane Miller’s First-Round Pac-12 NCAA Previews
- Dane Miller’s First-Round Pac-12 NIT Previews
- Dane Miller’s Pac-12 Tournament Championship Preview
- Dane Miller’s Semifinal Men’s Hoops Tourney Previews
- Dane Miller’s Round 2 Pac-12 Men’s Hoops Tourney Preview
- Dane Miller’s Round 1 Pac-12 Men’s Hoops Tourney Preview
- Dane Miller’s March 5 Pac-12 Men’s Hoops Previews
- Dane Miller’s March 3 Pac-12 Men’s Hoops Preview
- Dane Miller’s March 1 Pac-12 Men’s Hoops Preview
- Dane Miller’s Feb 26 Pac-12 Men’s Hoops Previews
- Dane Miller’s Feb 24 Pac-12 Men’s Hoops Previews
- Dane Miller’s Feb 23 Pac-12 Men’s Hoops Preview
- Dane Miller’s Feb 19-20 Pac-12 Men’s Hoops Previews
- Dane Miller’s Feb 17 Pac-12 Men’s Hoops Previews
- Dane Miller’s Feb 15 Pac-12 Men’s Hoops Preview
- Dane Miller’s Feb 12 Pac-12 Men’s Hoops Previews
2022 Pac-12 Football Preview: New Faces Key UCLA’s HopesBruins return a starting QB and RB from a team that posted the program’s most wins since 2015 - July 4, 2022
2022 Pac-12 Football Preview: ASU Fighting AdversityEighteen players have transferred out, including key contributors on both sides of the ball - June 27, 2022
2022 Pac-12 Football Preview: Wildcats Clawing BackUA Recruiting has hit heights arguably unmatched during any other coach’s tenure in Tucson - June 20, 2022