Blog Entry

Suddenly, Arizona is your Pac-10 favorite

Posted on: February 6, 2011 1:10 am
Edited on: February 6, 2011 1:14 am

Posted by Matt Norlander

The Pac-10 is regressing to its form from 2010.

Or maybe it never progressed this year to begin with.

But what is different, yet familiar — Arizona is the king of the league. The Wildcats had their 25-year-long streak of making The Tournament snapped last season, but it's looking like the 'Cats will be dancing once again, perhaps starting a new streak this year.

Saturday night, Arizona won one of the best games you'll (not) see (thanks, terrible Pac-10 TV contract) all season by defeating California on the road, 107-105, in triple overtime. Making the win more impressive, even if Cal's mediocre, was the fact Derrick Williams fouled out and his teammates still managed to eke out a tough road W.

So the Wildcats are now 9-2 in the conference, a full two games ahead of suddenly second-place Washington. (UCLA, which played non-conference foe St. John's Saturday morning, is one game back in the loss column.) And you know, 'Zona's 20-4 overall and about two more road wins from becoming a lock to earning an NCAA bid.

Though the West Coast is void of a lot of embraceable basketall, Arizona goes against that notion. Sean Miller's got the team one year ahead of schedule, and this is a very, very fun group to watch. I won't fall for any team in this league, but I do think it's going to take a drastic change of behavior for Arizona to fall out of the top two by March 1.

Let's now get to Washington, which our overlord addressed a few hours earlier. The Huskies hucked up 54 3-pointers in two games in the Beaver State, losing both in a three-game span and dropping a third straight contest. The unraveling of the Huskies in Eugene Saturday signals a power shift atop the Pac-10 that UW may not be able to wrangle back. Another Arizona tidbit to support my thesis: the Wildcats have the deadliest player in the conference in Williams, who's a sure-fire lottery pick that is also strangely, unanswerably a terrific 3-point shooter.

Washington's non-con isn't quite as good is you (and I) might think, but this isn't time for bubble talk. I merely come to say, I don't know if Isaiah Thomas can fully carry the load for this team, and that's part of the fall. Abdul Gaddy was too proficient to not see some  — here comes that aforementioned word — regression at some point.

So even though the Pac-10 remains a bit of a jumbled, unpredictable bag of meh, at least it's got itself a race and a reason to watch the games.

If you can manage to find the channel they're on.

Photo: AP

Category: NCAAB

Since: Feb 7, 2011
Posted on: February 7, 2011 5:58 pm

Suddenly, Arizona is your Pac-10 favorite

ok. that entire game was reffed poorly starting with the solomon hill elbow swinging call. i agree that was a bad call, just stating the facts

Since: Jul 3, 2008
Posted on: February 7, 2011 3:39 pm

Suddenly, Arizona is your Pac-10 favorite

Arizona will win the Pac 10.  The only regular season game they'll potentially lose the rest of the year is at UCLA. The Pac will get three teams in: UA, UCLA, and UW (they play well at home) and potentially Washington State if they aren't upset the rest of the way and win a game in the Pac 10 tourney.

As bad as the Pac 10 TV contract is, frankly I'm tired of listening to people complain about it.  If it's a major issue, spend the extra $10 a month for the FSN packages.  I watched the game from my couch in Dallas.  Standard programing only carries ESPN, ESPN2, FSN regional, and Versus anyway.  No ESPNU, Fox College Sports, CBS College Sports, Big East, SEC, or Big 10 network, etc.      

Since: Mar 31, 2009
Posted on: February 7, 2011 1:05 pm

Suddenly, Arizona is your Pac-10 favorite

 of the 3 0r 4 you picked 3  right on two  ARIZ, UCLA in  WASH out   the other two will be WSU and Cal(possibly)  bit the huskies free fall will continue

Since: Mar 13, 2009
Posted on: February 6, 2011 6:20 pm

Suddenly, Arizona is your Pac-10 favorite

Simply - the PAC 10 REFS SUCK - they are actually targeting DW it really PO's me!

Since: Jan 16, 2011
Posted on: February 6, 2011 5:53 pm

Suddenly, Arizona is your Pac-10 favorite

nope, they got it right..Cal just stuck around because of the refereeing.  a consistent theme in the PAC-10.  Zona IS back.

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2011 4:33 pm

Suddenly, Arizona is your Pac-10 favorite

Are you serious?  Did you watch the entire game?  Cal made more free throws than Arizona shot!!!  Cal was in the double bonus with over 11 minutes to play in the second half and oh by the way, had just one foul called on them at that point.  There were at least 3 crucial block fouls, called charges on UA that were just terrible calls.  Despite all of this and Derrick Williams fouling out, somehow Arizona won and all you have to say is that MoMo Jones got lucky on a foul call.  Just disregard the incredible shot he made on that foul and the insuing free throw.  How about just saying it was one of the best games of the year and I enjoyed watching it.

Since: Feb 6, 2011
Posted on: February 6, 2011 4:30 pm

Suddenly, Arizona is your Pac-10 favorite

I'd excuse the poor fact-checking on being an old post.  if not for the fact that this was posted today (2/6/11).  Second place is UCLA at 7-3 (overall, 16-7).  Washington is alone in third place at 7-4 (15-7).  I guess this is why this is a blog and not an article by a journalist.

Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2011 4:01 pm

Suddenly, Arizona is your Pac-10 favorite

They should not have won the game.  Stupid foul at the end of regulation where the offensive player initiated contact and got the call.  I don't understand why it's a foul for the defensive player to hold his ground.

Since: Apr 16, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2011 3:51 am

Suddenly, Arizona is your Pac-10 favorite

how many teams will make the tourny from the PAC? 
3? 4? 
Arizona, UCLA...washington maybe? i just don't know. 

Since: Aug 16, 2009
Posted on: February 6, 2011 2:24 am

Suddenly, Arizona is your Pac-10 favorite

The power of the Terrible Towel is with Pittsburgh's Sean Miller.....

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