Isaiah Thomas and the Huskies are not expected to be gracious hosts.
Photo by Deirdre Hamill/The Arizona Republic

Who’s up for a little battle for first place?

Arizona/Washington is a showdown of the Pac-10’s only two ranked teams (thank you, Coaches Poll!) but there’s a lot more on the menu.

No random games on random days this week. Just the Pac-10 Thursday/Saturday basketball schedule at its finest.

Thu. Jan. 20
(all times Arizona/Mountain)

Road Team Home Team Time TV
ASU WSU 8 p.m.
ARIZONA Washington 8:30 p.m. FSN
Stanford USC 8:30 p.m.
Cal UCLA 8:30 p.m. PT

FSN = Fox Sports Net
PT = Prime Ticket

Sat. Jan. 22

Road Team Home Team Time TV
Stanford UCLA 12 p.m. CBS
ASU Washington 2 p.m. FSN
Oregon OSU 4 p.m. FSN
Cal USC 9 p.m. FSW

FSAZ = Fox Sports Arizona
FSW = Fox Sports West

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The mini-previews:

Thu. Jan. 20

ASU (9-8 / 1-4) at WSU (13-5 / 3-3)
It’s a good thing Tony Bennett isn’t around or the score might be in single digits.

ARIZONA (15-3 / 4-1) at Washington (13-4 / 5-1)
The Cats are ranked for the first time in Sean Miller’s UA career. They’re going to have to play really, really well to be ranked for the second time in Sean Miller’s UA career.

Stanford (10-6 / 3-2) at USC (10-8 / 2-3)
USC lost to Oregon to ensure there won’t be a winless Pac-10 team this year. That KO is such a giver.

Cal (9-8 / 2-3) at UCLA (11-6 / 3-2)
I watched the start of the Cal/Washington game and saw the Bears fall behind by eight. I turned it on later to see Cal within one only to watch U-Dub instantly go on an 11-0 run. My fan plus-minus was horrible.

Sat. Jan. 22

Stanford at UCLA
USC beat UCLA so, naturally, the Bruins swept the Oregon schools while the Trojans got swept.

ASU at Washington
If the Sun Devils are going to have one game where they put it all together and rain down the threes, let’s hope it’s this one.

Oregon at OSU
A Beaver win would give them a better Pac-10 record (4-3) than non-conference record (5-6).

This is the key game of the week as far as Arizona’s tournament chances go. Whatever happens on Thursday the Cats need to stay focused and get ready to face a tough Wazzu squad two days later.

Cal at USC
College hoops at 11 p.m Eastern? Another item for Larry Scott’s to-do list.

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As if the first-place showdown wasn’t enough we’ll also get to see Derrick Williams sharing the court with his competition for Pac-10 Player of the Year, Washington’s Isaiah Thomas and the Cougars’ Klay Thompson.

Team results are what matters but would it be asking too much to throw in a few highlight-reel dunks and post moves from Mr. Williams? Wildcat Universe says thanks in advance.

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Don’t you love it when the football news is spread out so the season lingers a little longer?

In addition to spacing out the assistant coach hires, Mike Stoops decided to make them increasingly impressive.

Joe Salaveʻa is a young coach with limited experience. The assumption was Arizona would be looking at the same type of guys to fill its other two vacancies.

But then Stoops brought in Robert Anae, the offensive coordinator at BYU the last six years, to coach the UA O-line.

How do you top that? You bring in the Texas Longhorns’ secondary coach to hold the same title here. Oh, and make sure he has 25 years of experience coaching DBs including 14 total years at Arizona.

Welcome back, Duane Akina.

Last year the Cats lost both coordinators but one was a promotion to head coach and the other went to a traditional power. Both moves were seen as another sign the Wildcat program was improving.

This year’s mass exodus looked eerily like guys abandoning ship.

These hires are strong in their own right but they’re exceptional given the way the season ended and the offseason began. Does Stoops have any more surprises in store?

Gentlemen, start your recruiting.

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Scott Terrell is excited about the games at 10:30 Eastern. Follow along on Twitter and Facebook.