Solomon Hill

Solomon Hill and the Wildcats will need to play tight D in Seattle.
Photo by Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Three of the top four teams in the Pac-12 hit the road this week as the first half of the conference season comes to a close.

The TWit-Pac TV schedule has a Super Bowl of basketball action (all times Arizona/Mountain):

Date Away Home Time TV
Wed Jan 30 USC UCLA 8 p.m. P12N
  Oregon Stanford 9 p.m. ESPNU
Thu Jan 31 ARIZONA Washington 7 p.m. ESPN
  OSU Cal 8 p.m. ESPNU
  ASU WSU 9 p.m. P12N
Sat Feb 2 Colorado Utah 12:30 p.m. FSN
  Oregon Cal 2:30 p.m. FSN
  ASU Washington 7 p.m. ESPNU
  ARIZONA WSU 8 p.m. P12N
Sun Feb 3 OSU Stanford 1 p.m. P12N

More late nights for fans in Arizona. Is getting your sporting events to start an hour earlier a valid reason for moving to Pacific Time year round?

All the games from dusk till dawn:

Wed. Jan. 30

USC (8-13 / 3-5) at UCLA (16-5 / 6-2)
The Bruins got the big win in Tucson but were not able to complete the sweep of what is this year’s toughest road trip in the Pac-12. UCLA has its next three at home to try and regain momentum.

Oregon (18-2 / 7-0) at Stanford (12-8 / 3-4)
Oregon is trying to finish the first half of the conference season undefeated. The last Pac team to start 9-0? Stanford, of course, in 2004.

Thu. Jan. 31

ARIZONA (17-2 / 5-2) at Washington (12-8 / 4-3)
The Huskies have seven of their final 11 at home. If they can hit the brakes on their three-game losing streak they could set themselves up for a nice run down the stretch.

OSU (11-9 / 1-6) at Cal (11-8 / 3-4)
Oregon State surprised Washington last week to ensure the Beavers won’t go winless in Pac-12 play. Only one more week until the 11th-place showdown with Utah!

ASU (16-4 / 5-2) at WSU (11-9 / 2-5)
If any ASU fans were complaining that Arizona only won in Tempe because the Devils were short-handed, ask them how bad they felt about UCLA having to play without Travis Wear.

Sat. Feb. 2

Colorado (14-6 / 4-4) at Utah (9-11 / 1-7)
The Buffs have come back from the dead to win three straight. They would be wise to get this one out of the way before looking ahead to Oregon.

Oregon at Cal
There’s hope for Cal and everyone else struggling this season: Just four years ago the Ducks were 0-9 in Pac-12 play.

ASU at Washington
The Sun Devils have been trying all season to overcome their poor non-conference schedule and gain national respect. A pair of road wins this week just might do it.

ARIZONA at WSU
Will this be another “bounce back” game for the Wildcats after losing a third consecutive Thursday game or will the UA have a shot at its first two-game sweep in four weeks?

Sun. Feb. 3

OSU at Stanford
The San Francisco 49ers, coached by Stanford’s beloved former coach, are playing for a championship for the first time in 18 years. There will be more people at various Bay Area Super Bowl parties than at this game.

* * *

If you’re holding out hope that the Cats will storm back and take the Pac-12 championship I’d give it one more week. If Arizona can sweep this week while Oregon stumbles for the first time, maybe there could be some drama in February after all.

But if the Ducks paddle through the Bay and still have their two-game cushion – even with their point guard out with an injury – just let the regular season title go. With its schedule advantage, Oregon would have to fold worse than its baseball team not to win the conference.

So the primary focus for the Wildcats is progress, progress, progress. Especially on the defensive end of the court. Tighten up the team D, continue to develop the freshmen and see if you can come up with a couple wins away from home.

A road sweep would make UA fans feel almost as happy as a Harbaugh.

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Scott Terrell thinks college basketball is super. Bowl him over on Twitter and Facebook.