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A big thank you to USCLink for putting this all together

A couple of weeks ago a site called recently contacted us about Trojan basketball to hear our thoughts.  We were asked to give a prediction about USC's "stock price," when defined in terms of this criteria:

$3 for each Div I regular season win
$5 for each conference tournament win
$5 for each NIT Tournament win
$20 for each NCAA Tournament win
$10 for qualifying for the NCAA Tournament
$10 for making the Final Four
$10 for making it to the Championship game
$10 for winning the Championship

For example if UCLA wins 28 regular season games, 4 conference tournament games, qualifies for the NCAA tournament and wins 2 games in the tournament their total earnings will be $154.00.

Basically, the idea is the creation of a fantasy league, but with college teams.  I think its a fantastic idea, and here's some thoughts for those who are interested.

This criteria makes for an interesting sort of discussion, because it makes a game by game comparison relatively worthless...after all, beating Arizona and losing to ASU is worth $3, as is beating ASU, and losing to Arizona.  So the key is to hedge your bet on total performance.

Play the market?  Sure, why not?

As of Right now, at the half-way point of the season, we stand at 6-3 in the Pac-10, and 16-6 overall.  This is worth $48 dollars in stock value.  The current stock price is $70.35, which places us 67th in overrall value.

The question is, are we a good buy?

Well, consider the rest of our Pac-10 schedule:

2/1  Oregon St  --
2/3  Oregon --
2/7 @ UCLA  --
2/15  @ ASU  --
2/17 @Arizona --
2/22  Cal --
2/24  Stanford --
3/1 @Wazzu --
3/3 @Washington

With 4 home games and 5 away games, we are statisically speaking, not going to do as well in the second half of our schedule as the first.  That said, we've also matured as a team, and we've won in arguably the most difficult venue in the league (Oregon).

Looking at this week, I think it is reasonable to hope for a split with the Oregon schools.  Oregon will be wanting to avenge their first loss, while Oregon State will be wanting to avenge their worst loss.  Both schools will be competitive, but home-court advantage should help us take at least one of those games.

Predicted record: 1-1

The following series is a 3 game road trip, first against the bRuins at Pauley, followed by a trip out west to the Arizonas.  Personally, I think our boys will go into westwood and emerge victorious.  Call it wishful thinking, call it homerism, but I truly think they've got what it takes to derail the boys from Westwood.

In Arizona, expect the Wildcats to be playing with a fire under their pants, because frankly, they need wins as much as, if not more than, any team other than UW.  ASU can be fiesty, but I don't think we're going to give them their first conference win.

Predicted record:  3-2

After that comes our homestand against the Bay Area.  The Cardinal looks really good right now, especially with the solid play of the twin towers.  Cal, though having problems of their own with injuries and missing players, is still a dangerous team.  I don't think homecourt will cause us to lose both, but I don't think we get the sweep either.

Predicted record:  4-3

Finally comes our run through the Washingtons.  The Huskies are dangerous, and should not be discounted.  They are as talented as any Pac-10 team, and cannot be chalked up as a win just because they are 7th in the pac-10.  The Huskies are equally dangerous with one of the tightest defenses in the conference.  Even though these games are both on the road, I think we're going to pull one out, and I can't see us getting blown out again this season.

Predicted record:  5-4

That puts our market value at 21*3 = $63 dollars.

After that comes the Pac-10 tourney.  With current seedings, we play Arizona in the first round.  Although the Cats are good, and I don't expect to beat them at home, I think we have the edge on a neutral court.

After that, I don't know who we play, but no game is a gimme.  That said, i think we're good for 2 wins in the Pac-10 tourney.

2*5 = $10.

A slate like that, including finishing in the top 5 of the Pac-10, with wins against at least 5 ranked teams, should qualify us for the NCAA tournament = $10.

Prior to any tournament play, that brings our total value up to 63 + 10 + 10 = $83.  If things play out anything like i predict (split every series, beat the bruins) and we qualify, even if we don't win a game in the Pac-10 tournament we're still worth $73.

Buy now...we're going to be a hot commodity!

We like these faces boys...lets see 'em again come tourney time