Week 2 in Pac-12 play begins and the top-ranked Arizona Wildcats hit the road for the first time in conference action.
It’s a trip that has not been kind to Sean Miller and his team. Come to think of it, when was the last time the UA swept UCLA and USC on the road?
Here lies the Pac-12 TV schedule (all times Arizona/Mountain):
|Wed Jan 8||Colorado||Wash. St.||7 p.m.||Pac-12 Network|
|Wed Jan 8||Utah||Wash.||9 p.m.||Pac-12 Network|
|Thu Jan 9||ARIZONA||UCLA||7 p.m.||ESPN|
|Thu Jan 9||Arizona St.||USC||8 p.m.||Pac-12 Network|
|Thu Jan 9||Stanford||Oregon St.||8 p.m.||Pac-12 Bay & Oregon|
|Thu Jan 9||California||Oregon||9 p.m.||Fox Sports 1|
|Sat Jan 11||California||Oregon St.||6 p.m.||ESPNU|
|Sun Jan 12||Colorado||Wash.||1 p.m.||Fox Sports 1|
|Sun Jan 12||Stanford||Oregon||3 p.m.||Fox Sports 1|
|Sun Jan 12||Utah||Wash. St.||5 p.m.||Pac-12 Network|
|Sun Jan 12||ARIZONA||USC||7 p.m.||Pac-12 Network|
|Sun Jan 12||Arizona St.||UCLA||8 p.m.||ESPNU|
What’s up with all the Sunday games? When did Pac-12 hoops turn into the NFL?
Wed. Jan. 8
Colorado (13-2 / 2-0) at Washington State (7-7 / 0-2)
The Buffaloes handed Oregon its first defeat of the season to establish Colorado as the early candidate for Best Pac-12 Team Not Named Arizona.
Utah (12-2 / 1-1) at Washington (9-6 / 1-1)
This week we’ll find out if Utah is really for real (for real). If the Utes don’t get a win here they’ll remain the guys who beat up a school named Katherine in my eyes.
Thu. Jan. 9
ARIZONA (15-0 / 2-0) at UCLA (12-2 / 1-0)
If any members of the 1932 Wildcats are still alive they’re watching this game with the ’72 Miami Dolphins.
Arizona State (12-3 / 1-1) at USC (9-5 / 0-1)
New Trojan coach Andy Enfield talked some trash about UCLA…and lost to the Bruins by 44. UTEP may want to get USC on its schedule…after the FBI leaves town.
Stanford (9-4 / 0-1) at Oregon State (8-6 / 0-2)
Stanford’s best win (UConn) has since lost to Houston and SMU and the Cardinal only scored 62 points at home in losing to Cal. Stanford certainly looks like my most overrated team from last week.
California (10-4 / 1-0) at Oregon (13-1 / 1-1)
Cal opens conference play with three straight road games and five of its first seven away from home.
Sat. Jan. 11
California at Oregon State
I just don’t understand why there’s only one Saturday game, and it’s not even a good one.
Sun. Jan. 12
Colorado at Washington
Husky guard C.J. Wilcox is one of just two Pac-12 players averaging 20 points per game (20.2). OSU’s Roberto Nelson leads the conference, scoring 21.1 per contest.
Stanford at Oregon
If it wasn’t for a last-second steal and dunk in overtime 12-0 Oregon would’ve started 0-2 in Pac-12 play.
Utah at Washington State
WSU increased its scoring output by 88% from game one to game two last week. If they can keep that up they’ll be scoring 587 points a game by MLK Day.
ARIZONA at USC
From the file of things I cannot explain: Aaron Gordon is shooting a higher percentage from 3-point land than Nick Johnson (.368 to .365) yet Johnson is shooting almost twice as well at the free throw line (.823 to .449).
Arizona State at UCLA
More surprising long-range stats: ASU’s Jahii Carson only shot 32% on threes last year but he’s hitting 51% this year (21 of 41). Interesting that he didn’t attempt any in the loss to Washington.
* * *
The last time Arizona swept UCLA and USC on the road was 2005. The UA has been swept in L.A. five of the last eight seasons, including last year. Even Miller’s 2011 conference champs dropped both games in Los Angeles.
It’s safe to say the Cats’ undefeated streak is in serious jeopardy.
It also doesn’t help that the Bruins warmed up by scoring 107 points in a conference game on Sunday. Or the fact that UCLA could really use a marquee win on its resume. OK, I’m going to stop before I get depressed.
UCLA is second in the Pac-12 in scoring and field goal percentage, and third in the league in 3-point shooting. Arizona is first in scoring defense and field goal defense, and second in 3-point defense. Something, as they say, has got to give.
Will it be Arizona’s No. 1 ranking?
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