Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pac-10 Tournament Game 5



WHEN/WHERE: 6 p.m. tonight, Staples Center


USC(18-12, 9-9 Pac-10)

Wildcats starting lineup Pts. Reb. Ast.
G Daniel Hackett(Jr.) 12.3 4.0 4.8
G Dwight Lewis (Jr.) 14.2 3.3 2.0
F DeMar DeRozan(Fr.) 12.9 5.3 1.3
F Taj Gibson(Jr.) 14.4 9.3 1.1
F Keith Wilkinson (Sr.) 2.7 2.7 1.0

CALIFORNIA (22-9, 11-7)

Golden Bears starting lineup Pts. Reb. Ast.
G Jerome Randle (Jr.) 18.5 3.1 5.0
G Patrick Christopher (Jr.) 14.6 3.8 2.1
G Theo Roberston (Jr.) 12.8 3.8 2.5
F Jamal Boykin (Jr.) 9.7 6.5 0.9
C Jordan Wilkes(Jr.) 4.8 4.0 1.0

WHAT TO KNOW: The Bears could use a win to improve their NCAA seeding and set up semifinal showdown potentially with UCLA. Cal is pretty much a lock for the tournament but a loss could drop the Bears to perhaps a ninth or 10th seed, so the game is critical. ... Speaking of critical, that's USC's NCAA chances and the Trojans need a couple of wins at the Pac-10 Tournament to perhaps give the committee something to think about. USC has a very interesting roster. Gibson is a 24-year-old junior and Hackett is a 20-year-old junior. The team's infighting has become a major issue and perhaps coach Tim Floyd is losing control of the program, although that is something he will never admit. USC is no doubt one of the more talented teams in the conference while conversly it's hard to reason why Cal is reaching the NCAA Tournament after losing its leading scorer (Ryan Anderson) to the NBA Draft. But the two teams are in inverse positions, which will make for an interesting matchup.

WHO TO WATCH: Lewis struggled during conference season, shooting 37 percent, including a fist fight with Hackett after a home loss to Washington. But if he is on and the 3-point shot is going down, Cal could be in trouble.

HEAD TO HEAD: This is the third meeting between the two clubs and each team won at home. Four Trojans scored in double figures and USC went on a monster second-half run for a 73-62 win on Jan. 31 at Galen Center. DeRozan scored 19 points. Christopher tallied 29 as Cal held off the Trojans 81-78 in overtime. The Trojans missed 12 free throws.

WASHBURN'S PICK: The Bears hold on in a while one, 68-67, but don't go to Vegas on that one.

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