Cal Basketball: Pac-12 Picks - Some Big Games . . . Plus the Bears & Trojans

Cal fans don't want to see Nick Rakocevic dunking at Haas.Photo by Gary A. Vasquez, USA Today

Washington vs. Washington State and Arizona State vs. Utah also part of an interesting schedule

Is Saturday the day Cal finally claims its first victory of the Pac-12 Conference season?

We’ll see.

Elsewhere, Pac-12 leader Washington ventures cross-state to face rival Washington State, feeling good about itself after sweeping a road tandem in Arizona.

And red-hot Utah hosts topsy-turvy Arizona State in a game that will clarify second place in the conference standings. At least for now.

This week: Jake 3-1, Jeff 3-1

Season: Jeff 51-18, Jake 48-21


USC (13-12, 6-6) at Cal (5-19, 0-12), 5 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)

Jake: This could be the one for Cal, but the Trojans’ size inside figures to doom the Bears’ chances late in the game. Pick: USC

Jeff: I’m not from Missouri, but the Bears are going to have to show me before I believe it. Pick: USC

Washington (19-5, 10-1) at Washington State (10-14, 3-8), 5 p.m. (ESPNU)

Jake: Ten days ago, this would have looked like a mismatch. We’re not sure now, with the way WSU’s Robert Franks has been scoring. Throwing logic to the wind . . . Pick: Washington State

Jeff: WSU may be the trendy pick, but Washington has had a week to get ready for this game. Defensive whiz Matisse Thybulle will be excited to take on Robert Franks. Pick: Washington

Arizona State (16-8, 7-5) at Utah (14-8, 8-4), 7 p.m. (FS1)

Jake: We won’t try to figure out the wacky Sun Devils. We do know the Utes don’t beat themselves and lead the Pac-12 in three-point shooting. Pick: Utah

Jeff: Utah is looking like the second-best team in the Pac-12, like that’s something to shout about. The Sun Devils can beat anyone in the league and can lose to anyone. They’ll lose this one. Pick: Utah

UCLA (13-12, 6-6) at Stanford (13-11, 6-6), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

Jake: Stanford has quietly won four of its last five games. Cardinal point guard Daejon Davis (head) might miss a third straight game. Nonetheless. . . Pick: Stanford

Jeff: UCLA could have lost to Cal. Probably should have. I’ve given up on the Pac-12’s two flagship programs. Pick: Stanford

Oregon (15-9, 6-5) at Oregon State (15-8, 7-4), 7:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)

Jake: Oregon State beat the Ducks in the conference opener in Eugene, but Oregon big man Kenny Wooten did not play in that one. Pick: Oregon

Jeff: Oregon State was hot early, but I don’t see the Beavers sweeping the preseason favorites to win the Pac-12. Oregon still has pride. Pick: Oregon


Arizona (14-11, 5-7) at Colorado (15-9, 6-6), 5 p.m. (ESPNU)

Jake: We’re not expecting Brandon Williams to return for Arizona, and the Buffaloes are getting better with every game. Pick: Colorado

Jeff: Brandon Williams? Unless Steve Kerr, Sean Elliott and Tom Tolbert return, I’m done with the Wildcats. This is the worst Pac-12 in two decades, and Arizona is in 10th place. Pick: Colorado