The Arizona Wildcats men’s basketball team (14-7, 5-3) begins the most difficult stretch of their conference slate starting tonight with the “Whiteout” at home against the first place Washington Huskies (13-7, 6-2).
With the top six teams in the conference separated by a game or less and three games to go before all 12 teams have played each other, the standings are still working themselves out.
Washington’s in a four way tie with Cal, Oregon and Colorado for first place and sitting a game back tied for second, Arizona and Stanford round out the top six.
Tonight’s game against the Huskies (Happening now!) and next week’s trip to NorCal to round out the only full round of Pac-12 should help break up the logjam.
Despite not a lot to cheer for this season, there is no reason the Wildcats can’t share a piece of first place if they can pick up at least a split with Cal and Stanford…but first they’ll have to take care of Washington.
Here are three themes to watch for tonight as Arizona hosts the Huskies…
Tonight’s “Whiteout” might not live up to last year’s epic showdown between the these two teams but with ESPN Game Day in the house this morning and a sold out crowd this evening, all eyes will be on the Wildcats…but that might not be such a good thing.
Big games bring out the best and worst of players, which is the last thing a team as young and inconsistent as Arizona needs.
The Wildcats have struggled recently on the backend of their weekly Thursday-Saturday schedule.
Going 0-2 over the last two weekends, Arizona is averaging 14.5 points less per game on Saturdays during that time…and that doesn’t include the nine points the Wildcats dropped on Oregon State in overtime.
The off-nights can be contributed to a combination of less recovery time and a lack of preparation but at some point Arizona is going to need to shake those issues and just start getting it done.
Both the Pac-12 and NCAA tournaments have short turnarounds.
What better time to set the postseason tone then tonight on national television?
Ever since head coach Sean Miller used the media to help spread his message of better ball security his team has responded.
The Wildcats have limited their turnovers to 10 or less since his sarcastic rant.
Assist-to-turnovers during that time…
17/9 vs. Utah
11/10 vs. Colorado
23/9 vs. Washington State
Hopefully the fast pace of Washington and the extra energy inside McKale Center tonight doesn’t take Arizona out of its game.
The Wildcats don’t’ score enough to give possessions away.
Be sure to check out the game…
Time: 5 p.m. (Now!!!)
Radio: 1290-AM, 107.5-FM, 990-AM (Spanish)
Spread: Arizona by 5