A look at things to watch this week in the Pac-12 Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEK: Washington (18-4, 9-0) at Arizona State (15-6, 6-3), Saturday. The Huskies’ three-game lead at the midpoint of the Pac-12 season is the second-largest since 1978-79, when the conference went to the 18-game schedule. If Washington can win at Arizona on Thursday and beat the Sun Devils, the Pac-12 title will essentially wrapped up. Arizona State will be no pushover. The Sun Devils, tied for second in the Pac-12 at 6-3, can match their best conference start since 1992-93 with a pair of wins this week. Arizona State will be without freshman Taeshon Cherry (concussion) and the Huskies could be missing Noah Dickerson after spraining his ankle over the weekend.
LOOKING AHEAD: Oregon State, at 6-3, is off to its best Pac-12 start since 1992-93. The Beavers host Stanford and California this week. … Southern Cal is tied with Arizona State and Oregon State for second in the Pac-12. The Trojans host Colorado and Utah this week.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Washington’s nine-game conference winning streak is its longest since winning 10 straight in 1958-59. … Arizona State’s Zylan Cheatham is the lone Pac-12 player and one of 17 nationally to average a double-double with 11.8 points and 10.9 rebounds. … Oregon coach Dana Altman needs one victory to become the 22nd Pac-12 coach to reach 100 career victories. The Ducks host California and Utah. … Washington’s Matisse Thybulle has put himself in the conversation for national defensive player of the year by joining Duke’s Zion Williamson as the only DI players in the top 100 nationally in steals and blocks.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Tres Tinkle, Oregon State. The coach’s son is the only Division I player averaging at least 22 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists per game. He was named the Pac-12 player of the week after averaging 25 points, 7 rebounds and 3.5 assists in games against Colorado and Utah last week.
ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE: No. 11 Stanford has lost two of its past three games and has a difficult week ahead. The Cardinal play No. 7 Oregon State on Friday, then get No. 3 Oregon on Sunday. The Ducks lead the conference at 10-0 after rolling over Utah and Colorado last week. Oregon State is second in the conference at 9-1 and Stanford is just behind the Beavers at 8-2.
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