Stephen Vilardo’s Week 14 SuperWest Hoops Games to Watch

The game of the week features SDSU and Utah State fighting for control of the Mountain West

Posted on February 8, 2023

  By Stephen Vilardo, SuperWest Sports

This week starts with perhaps the marquee game of the week with Sand Diego State and Utah State meeting in Logan for control of the Mountain West.

Otherwise, we do not see as many big games on the schedule this week as in previous weeks, but there are still some intriguing matchups.

I preview each of them here.

No. 25 San Diego State at Utah State

Wednesday, February 8
7:00 pm PT, CBS Sports

If it seems like every week we see a pivotal Mountain West game for control of the standings, it is because we are seeing one every week.

This time it is the Aztecs and Aggies in Logan.

The last loss for Utah State came at the hands of SDSU in San Diego. Since then, the Aggies have won three in a row and find themselves a game behind the Aztecs.

USU leads the nation in three-point shooting at 41.8% while SDSU is 28th in three-point defense with opponents shooting just 30.1%.

Utah State is 1-6 all-time vs San Diego State when the Aztecs are ranked but USU is currently riding a five-game win streak at home.

UNLV at Wyoming

Wednesday, February 8
7:30 pm PT, FS1

Wyoming has struggled this season after expectations were high in Laramie following a 2022 NCAA birth.

The Cowboys have started to figure things out a little and will be looking for the third straight win at Arena-Auditorium.

UNLV is a team that started off very strong but has had its struggles since Mountain West play began.

The Rebels will create turnovers and have been very good at doing so, forcing an opponent miscue on 25.3% of possessions this season, the second-best rate in the nation.

The Cowboys are turning it over on 17.9% of possessions this season to rank 165th in the nation. Wyoming is not giving up a lot of freebies as they rank 30th in the nation with just 14.5 fouls committed per game.

UNLV has won seven of the last ten meetings between the teams.

San Francisco at No. 16 Gonzaga

Thursday February 9
6:00 pm PT, ESPN2

Gonzaga has won 25 in a row in the series and has taken the last 33 games played in Spokane.

The first meeting between the teams this season was a nail-biter as the Bulldogs came away with a two-point win at USF.

The Dons have been good against teams inside the arc this season as opponents are shooting just 51.9% on non-blocked two-point field goals, the 50th-best defensive mark in the nation.

Gonzaga is 18th on the offensive side of that same state shooting 61.2%.

The Dons were able to hit threes against the Zags last meeting and USF has found success when knocking down the three. USF is scoring 40.7% of their points off three-pointers this season, the sixth-highest rate in the nation.

Gonzaga has allowed 32.1% of the points scored against them to come off threes, 263rd in the nation.

If the Dons get looks and they can knock them down, this one could be close again. If not, look for Gonzaga to pull away at home.

No. 15  Saint Mary’s at Loyola Marymount

Thursday February 9
7:00 pm PT, NBC Sports Bay Area

Saint Mary’s is coming off a huge win over Gonzaga and finds itself ranked in the Top 15 for the first time since 2018.

If the Gaels take care of business in five of their remaining six regular season games, they will be WCC regular season champions.

This is a game they cannot overlook. The Gaels are in a power position in the league because the Lions went to Spokane and took down Gonzaga.

Saint Mary’s defense has been stout, limiting opponents to 57.7 points per game and holding opponents to 39.95% from the floor. The Gaels are limiting opponents to 48.9% on non-blocked twos, the third-best in the country.

The Lions are shooting 59.7% on two-pointers that don’t get rejected but that figure has dipped to just 50% in the last three games.

LMU has lost its last 21 to SMC and has lost its last 16 home games vs. the Gaels. The Lions have not collected a win in the series at Gersten Pavilion since 2006.

Cam Shelton is averaging 23.3 points per outing in his last six games. Shelton will have to be able to create his shot against the Gaels as they are second in the nation with opponents getting an assist on just 34.5% of made FGs.

The Lions have an assist rate of 43.8% this season—ranking 344th in the land.

San Diego at Santa Clara

Thursday February 9
7:00 pm PT, WCC Network

If you like offense and scoring this is one to tune in to. This is the first time we have featured the Toreros this season, but they can fill up the basket.

Marcellus Earlington has reached the 20-point mark in each of the last six games and has topped 30 in three of the last five. The problem is they have allowed 79.4 points per game, ranking 344th in America.

Santa Clara has some scorers and can light up the scoreboard as well. In fact, the Broncos can put points on the board a day after the game ends!!

(That’s scoring change of a two to a three a day after their win over USF changed the final from 83-70 to 84-70).

Santa Clara has averaged 81.0 points in the last three games, and leading the way for them is Brandin Podziemski who has gone for 25.0 per game in the last three.

San Diego’s 16.2 fastbreak points per game rank seventh in the nation.

Santa Clara is getting 11.61 points in transition this season. The Broncos are 11-4 at home this season while the Toreros have only won three of seven road games.

The scoring defense splits for San Diego are not good as the Toreros are allowing 83.7 on the road vs 78.4 at home.

USC at OregonOregon Ducks Logo Pac-12

Thursday February 9
8:00 pm PT, ESPN2

USC has won four in a row and is looking to lock down an NCAA bid. And SC is still in the hunt for a share of the regular season conference crown.

This is a crucial week for the Trojans if they want to keep the hope of the title alive and a pair of wins would go a long way to solidifying their bid.

Oregon is starting to play better and owns a 10-4 record at home while going just 4-6 away from Matthew Knight Arena.

These teams have split the last meetings inside MKA, but the Ducks have won nine of the last 11 meetings in Eugene.

While the Trojans have struggled in Oregon, they have taken seven of the last 10 meetings regardless of location.

The one certainty in this game is the shots will not come easy; both teams will get rejections.

USC is 12th in the nation with a blocked shot rate of 9.2% while Oregon is blocking 8.9% of opponents’ shots, the 15th-highest rate in the nation.

Arizona football Pac-12No. 4 Arizona at California

Thursday, February 9
8:00 pm PT, Pac-12

I have said in the past that I am a fan of streaks, stats, and odd numbers. Well, this one may not be the best matchup, but it certainly has some streaks.

Arizona has won 12 straight over California and five in a row in Berkeley. In fact, since the conference expanded to 12, Arizona is 16-3 in conference games played in northern California.

The last five between the Bears and Wildcats at Haas Pavilion have been decided by 15.8 points. One would not expect this one to be any closer.

Arizona is ninth in the nation with an average scoring margin of 12.9 and has won its last three by 23.3 points per game.

Cal’s average margin this season is –9.0, 344th in the nation. The Bears have lost their last three games by an average of 19.0 points per contest.

Azuolas Tubelis ranks sixth in the country with 27.2 points per 40 minutes.

No. 7 UCLA at OregonOregon Ducks Logo Pac-12

Saturday, February 11
7:00 pm PT, ESPN

The Ducks have won seven of the last eight meetings with the Bruins in Eugene.

As mentioned earlier, Oregon is tough to beat at Matthew Knight Arena. The Ducks have already collected a home-court win over Arizona this season.

UCLA has won at least 19 of their first 23 games of the season for just the 10th time in the last 40 years. The Bruins are almost quietly off to one of their best 23-game starts since the early 80s.

One thing that has not been quiet about UCLA this season is its defense. The Bruins are limiting opponents to 60.3 points per game, the ninth-best in the nation.

The Bruins are also forcing a turnover on 24.2% of their possessions, eighth-best in the nation while ranking 16th with a turnover rate of 15.1%.

This turnover margin has led the Bruins to an average of 9.6 more scoring chances per game than opponents, the top mark in the country.

Oregon is getting just 0.2 more scoring chances per game, but at home, they are +2.1 vs –2.5 on the road. UCLA’s number dips to +5.1 on the road.

UCLA’s margin in the Pac-12 standings has shrunk in the last few weeks and they can’t afford a slip-up in Oregon.

Colorado at Utah

Saturday, February 11
7:00 pm PT, FS1

Utah’s defense has been among the best in the nation all season and since conference play resumed at the turn of the New Year, Colorado has been one of the best teams in the nation on the defensive end.

If you look at adjusted defensive rank since January 1, the Buffs are second in the nation only trailing Tennessee.

Colorado has allowed just 59.2 points per game in their last 10 while limiting four of those foes to 60 or under and not allowing a single team to top 75.

Utah has been solid on defense all season allowing just 61.8 per game but has also been even better during 2023. In the last 12 games, the Utes have held opponents to just 56.3 per outing.

The Utes are 8-3 vs the Buffs in Salt Lake City since the teams entered the Pac-12 but Colorado has taken the last two played in SLC. The Buffs are 5-2 in the last seven played between the teams.

Washington football pac-12Washington at Washington State

Saturday, February 11
7:30 pm PT, Pac-12

The Huskies and Cougars will play Round One of their rivalry this weekend in Pullman. The Cougars have taken four of the last six between the squads.

Last season, the aggregate could not have been closer with the home team winning both games 78-70.

Washington’s blocked shot rate of 8.9% is the 15th highest in the nation; the Cougars are only getting 4.9% of their shots blocked.

A big reason for that is the Cougs are scoring 38.3% of their points this season off three-pointers, the 18th highest rate in America.

29.1% of the points against Washington have come on threes. The Huskies are good against the three, ranking 18th in the country with a three-point shooting defense of 29.5%.

Follow Stephen on Twitter @StephenVilardo and his organization @SERCenter.

Visit his website at

—More from Stephen Vilardo—