Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Southern California

It's been a while since I sat down to work on this project.  The demands of real life have forced me to put this aside for about ten days, but the weekday game day is here.  That motivated me to get back in the saddle. The home sweep was nice but not unexpected.  The Washingtons are probably the easiest of the the paired matchups in the Pac this year.  What was nice about the games was that the Cats won both convincingly.   I certainly understand Sean Miller's ire about a poor defensive effort in the second half against WSU.  One thing I think has helped our offense in the last two contests has been bench minutes.  Giving the starters a bit more rest will pay off late in games and as the season goes on.

Speaking of the season, it's hard to believe that it is winding down.  Sitting at 23-4, the Cats have won as many games this year (23-4) as they did last (23-14), and we need one more win in conference to match last year's Pac win total.  Playing the Trojans at Galen, I like our chances.  Here is the match up:

If you look at those stats closely, it should be clear why Arizona is the favorite.  The Cats are better in almost every category.  Our offense is better.  So is our defense.  We turn the ball over less. We are bigger and and deeper.  The Trojans are a slightly older team, but don't expect that to matter in the end.

If you are expecting an easy win, I cannot guarantee one.  The simulation gives us a 40% chance of a double digit victory, but the most likely score is a six point victory of 70-64.   There is a 65.9% probability of winning at any margin.  At home, this game would be nearly a sure thing.  In Los Angeles, it's a bit more of a challenge.  With three four-loss teams at the top of the conference standings, both games this week are critical, and especially the one on Saturday.  But not let's get ahead of ourselves.

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