In what’s setting as much as be a possible sport of the season, we have now No. 2 Stanford up towards No. 8 UCLA within the Pac-12 tonight at 11 p.m. ET on the Pac-12 Community. These two Prime 10 groups have been the cream of the crop in not simply the convention however the nation. With Stanford being undefeated in convention play and the Bruins solely having one loss, this sport can have enormous implications within the standings, nationwide rankings and, finally, March Insanity seeding.
Solely the South Carolina Gamecocks can argue that they’re higher than Stanford. Ranked second within the nation (behind SC, which can also be the one staff to have crushed them), Cameron Brink and firm have been nearly as good as marketed. The trio of Brink, Haley Jones and Hannah Bounce have lived as much as the championship expectations bestowed upon them and have the Cardinal on an 11-game profitable streak that features ranked wins towards Arizona, Creighton and Gonzaga. Friday’s matchup might be their hardest of the brand new 12 months. No staff left on their schedule is at present within the Prime 10 and given how aggressive the Pac-12 has been this 12 months, dropping any video games will open up the prospect for UCLA, Utah or Arizona to turn out to be title favorites.
The excellent news for Stanford is that they have the beginning unit to beat a staff as gifted as UCLA on the highway. Brink flirts with a double-double nightly, Jones brings the offense for the guards with 13.2 factors per sport and Talana Lepolo is the facilitator, averaging 4.5 assists per sport.
For the Bruins, that is precisely the place they need to be. A shot at the perfect staff within the convention, at dwelling with all the boldness on the earth after beating their rival USC. Regardless of Stanford being favored, the Bruins have the same resume. Additionally they have a loss towards the Gamecocks and just one defeat separates them from Stanford. An upset win Friday will undoubtedly shake up the AP ballot subsequent week and the one query might be how excessive does UCLA soar and the way far does Stanford drop?
If UCLA is to win, Charisma Osborne should be the perfect guard on the ground. She’s definitely able to that, even with Stanford being the opponent, nevertheless it’s a tall order. She’s averaging 17.4 factors an evening and 6.2 rebounds, making her the staff chief in each classes.
Can the Bruin bigs maintain Brink off the glass? That’s the job the forwards and heart can have on this guard-heavy squad. Maybe head coach Cori Shut opts for an even bigger lineup to begin the sport and places a guard on the bench? That would disrupt Stanford’s sport sufficient to provide UCLA the early benefit whereas changes are made.
No. 8 UCLA Bruins (14-2, 3-1 Pac-12) vs. No. 2 Stanford Cardinal (16-1, 4-0 Pac-12)
When: Friday, Jan. 13 at 11 p.m. ET
The place: Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, CA
Learn how to watch: Pac-12 Community
Key to the matchup: For UCLA, the trail to victory is obvious. It must win the rebounding battle, bigs should be thrown at Brink to make her work as a lot as doable and Osborne should be her finest self. Stanford might want to come into the hostile enviornment and set up that their guard combos are an excessive amount of for UCLA. Which means Jones and Bounce being aggressive and getting going early and infrequently. Anticipate a aggressive sport.