Nick Johnson vs. Colorado

Nick Johnson and the Arizona Wildcats will be driving down the Oregon Trail.
Photo by Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The first week of conference play in the Pac-12 produced a controversy that garnered national attention and a contender getting upset by a perennial bottom-feeder.

And that was just the Colorado games.

Add in two teams going into their in-state rival’s gym to pull out a win and league play is off to a fiery start. What does Week 2 have in store?

On to the TV schedule (all times Arizona/Mountain)!

Date Away Home Time TV
Wed Jan 9 WSU Stanford 8 p.m. P12N
  Washington Cal 9 p.m. ESPN2
Thu Jan 10 ARIZONA Oregon 7 p.m. ESPN2
  UCLA Utah 7:30 p.m. P12N
  USC Colorado 8 p.m. ESPNU
  ASU OSU 9:30 p.m. P12N
Sat Jan 12 UCLA Colorado 12 p.m. P12N
  WSU Cal 2 p.m. P12N
  USC Utah 4 p.m. P12N
  Washington Stanford 9 p.m. FSN
Sun Jan 13 ASU Oregon 7 p.m. P12N

The Wednesday and Sunday games are going to be a regular thing. I’m all for it as it increases the conference’s exposure and helps fill up the week with sporting goodness.

Wed. Jan. 9

WSU (9-5 / 0-1) at Stanford (9-6 / 0-2)
Stanford’s Pac-12 season did not start well with the Cardinal losing to USC. A home loss to Wazzu would put Stanford on the fast track to the cellar.

Washington (9-5 / 1-0) at Cal (9-5 / 1-1)
This is the third of four straight road games for the Huskies. Washington lost at Connecticut before going into Pullman and beating the Cougars last week.

Thu. Jan. 10

ARIZONA (14-0 / 2-0) at Oregon (12-2 / 1-0)
The Ducks are undefeated at home and their closest game was a 10-point victory over NAU in the season opener.

UCLA (12-3 / 2-0) at Utah (8-6 / 0-2)
UCLA owns the second-longest active win streak in the Pac-12 (seven wins) but this is the Bruins’ first true road game of the season.

USC (6-9 / 1-1) at Colorado (10-4 / 0-2)
I expect the Buffaloes to take their frustrations from last week out on the Trojans. Then again, that’s what we thought would happen against ASU.

ASU (12-2 / 2-0) at OSU (10-4 / 0-1)
The Sun Devils may actually have a team worth watching and they get stuck with the late-late game Thursday night. Sparky may want to sneak in a nap.

Sat. Jan. 12

UCLA at Colorado
Getting swept in the desert didn’t hurt Colorado much in terms of RPI. Beating the Bruins would help even more.

WSU at Cal
Cal’s Allen Crabbe continues to light it up, scoring a total of 48 points in L.A. last week. Washington State only scored 27 points in the first half against Washington.

USC at Utah
A week ago this looked like the battle for last place but USC already has a conference win and Utah played two tight games on the road. If the Utes lose this one, however, the game retroactively becomes the battle for last place again.

You may remember last year’s lone regular season matchup with the Beavers as the game that featured overtime and Kyryl Natyazhko getting ejected after a near-brawl.

Washington at Stanford
Washington is only eighth in the Pac-12 in scoring at 70.7 points per game. These aren’t the Huskies we’re used to.

Sun. Jan. 13

ASU at Oregon
We’ll find out soon if things are truly changing in Tempe. The Sun Devils won just one conference road game last year.

* * *

Arizona’s games this week take on extra significance because the Oregon schools are the two Pac-12 teams that don’t visit McKale this year. If the Ducks want to be taken seriously as a conference contender they have to win this game.

Oregon won the only meeting last year, even after blowing a 17-point lead. The Wildcats came back from 17 down against Colorado last week but would be wise not to try and duplicate the feat.

Whatever the results this weekend, the UA needs to start playing better. Thursday’s game is the halfway point of the regular season.

The Cats won’t be able to say there’s a long way to go for much longer.

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Scott Terrell is prepared for more basketball drama. Embrace the anxiety on Twitter and Facebook.