Kevin Parrom at Colorado

Someone other than Kevin Parrom will have to take this shot. And it has to go in this time.
Photo by Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Life is more interesting when your team is in the March Madness conversation. Arizona Wildcats fans have a little more pep in their college basketball step as they prepare for this week’s games.

Washington stands alone atop the Pac-12 standings but will the Huskies’ path be as clear after a night on the blurry floor of the Matthew Knight Arena?

TWIT-Pac salutes Fox Sports for stepping up with a nice selection of games this week. Here is the plump TV schedule (all times Arizona/Mountain):

Date Away Home Time TV
Thu Feb 9 Utah ASU 6:30 p.m.
  Colorado ARIZONA 7 p.m. ESPN
  WSU OSU 8 p.m. ROOT NW
  Cal USC 8:30 p.m.  
  Stanford UCLA 9 p.m. PT
  Washington Oregon 9 p.m. FSN
Sat Feb 11 Utah ARIZONA 12 p.m. FSN
  Cal UCLA 2 p.m. FSN
  WSU Oregon 4 p.m. CSN NW
  Colorado ASU 4:30 p.m. FSAZ
Sun Feb 12 Washington OSU 3:30 p.m. FSN
  Stanford USC 5:30 p.m. FSN

CSN NW = Comcast SportsNet Northwest
FSAZ = Fox Sports Arizona
FSN = Fox Sports Net
PT = Prime Ticket
ROOT NW = Root Sports Northwest

Thu. Feb. 9

Utah (5-18 / 2-9) at ASU (7-16 / 3-8)
This is the Utes’ last realistic chance at a win. Maybe they’ll break out the Rick Majerus Memorial Triangle-and-Two.

Colorado (16-7 / 8-3) at ARIZONA (16-8 / 7-4)
Colorado’s last two road losses were by a combined 37 points. The Cats need to shoot well early, get the McKale crowd going and make the Buffaloes dream of Tempe.

WSU (12-11 / 4-7) at OSU (15-8 / 5-6)
The Beavers have won four of their last five. Root for them to take this one and keep the momentum going into the Washington game.

Cal (18-6 / 8-3) at USC (6-18 / 1-10)
Cal bounced back after the Arizona loss by beating ASU by 21, but that’s not much of a bounce these days.

Stanford (16-7 / 6-5) at UCLA (13-10 / 6-5)
The Bruins have gone 3-1 the last two weekends with the lone loss a two-point defeat at Washington. They also haven’t lost in league play in their home-games-away-from-home.

Washington (16-7 / 9-2) at Oregon (16-7 / 7-4)
The Pac-12 Game of the Week! The Ducks can get themselves back into the conference race while the Huskies are trying to stiff-arm the competition. The first meeting was a 16-point UW win in Seattle.

Sat. Feb. 11

The goal in this one is to put the game away without getting anyone ejected.

Cal at UCLA
Now that the Wildcats are playing for something tangible it’s time to root against the teams ahead of them in the standings. This one would be a Go Bruins!

WSU at Oregon
Wazzu is the only team to lose to both Utah and ASU. USC can’t wait for the rematch.

Colorado at ASU
If Thursday goes well the Cats could use the Devils’ help to completely leapfrog the Buffs.

Sun. Feb. 12

Washington at OSU
OSU has already been a factor in the Pac-12 race with wins over Cal and Oregon. An upset here would make things a free-for-all.

Stanford at USC
Three weeks ago we asked if Stanford’s close victories meant the Cardinal was overrated or simply knew how to win. Four losses in five games later we have our answer.

* * *

Your Arizona Wildcats had the best week of anyone in the Pac-12 (which is why Kyle Fogg is the reigning Player of the Week). Can they keep it going at home and leave the days of .500 basketball behind for good?

After Angelo Chol’s breakout performance I would look long and hard at finding more minutes for a lineup of Josiah Turner, Fogg, Solomon Hill, Jesse Perry and Chol. It’s the closest this team has to a standard lineup and it could free up Hill and Perry to be their best on offense without fouling as much on D.

But with only seven healthy (and productive) players your options are limited.

Keep up the energy, turn up the defensive pressure and the UA’s tournament chances will continue to bubble up.

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Scott Terrell thinks things are looking up. Check out the view on Twitter and Facebook.