Blog Entry

Arizona win proves Pac-10 is not soft

Posted on: February 19, 2011 8:46 pm
The Pac-10 soft? I don't think so.

Posted by Eric Angevine

When Derrick Williams blocked Darnell Gant's potential game-winner out of bounds with one second left, he distilled all of the game's truly nasty intensity into throwing back a layup that he probably should have just tapped to run out the clock.

Such a gentle ending would have been a severe disappointment after the knock-down drag-out game in the McKale Center. The game was played inside a howling maelstrom of white-clad Wildcat fans, under the auspices of an officiating crew who seemed to feel they were calling a playground event. Nobody was complaining, though. In a heavyweight brawl, you expect to see a little blood.

In a game that was fueled by pure will, both teams had plenty of heroes. For the visitors, Matthew Bryan-Amaning scored 24 with 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 6 blocks. If there was a bigger overall stat line elsewhere in the nation, I'd like to see it. Pint-sized Isaiah Thomas dished out 9 assists, and freshman C.J. Wilcox came off the bench to hit 4-8 from deep as part of a 19 point effort.

That was a nice individual effort by Wilcox, but it pales in comparison to the Wildcat team effort. The Wildcats went 11-18 for a stunning 61 percent deep-shooting percentage and got nice rebounding games from Solomon Hill (7 boards) and Jesse Perry (6) in support of Williams.

Williams made his usual big impression even though Bryan-Amaning was probably the player of the game. The likely top-5 NBA draft pick had 26 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks, the last one being the most valuable in spite of Williams' use of excessive force.

Arizona is rounding into the kind of team that will claw for every win, and Washington showed why they were the preseason favorites in the Pac-10. The UCLA Bruins get a shot at both teams before the season is over, so this league is far from settled. However it plays out, this game should give the lie to the popular conception that the Pac-10 has gone soft.

Since: Dec 24, 2007
Posted on: February 20, 2011 12:14 pm

Arizona win proves Pac-10 is not soft

The Pac-10 Tournament is gonna be a war. Although the league is top-heavy, I like the upper-echelon teams, especially the top 3. They could do some damage in the NCAAs. I'm still waiting for Washington to fulfill its considerable potential. The Huskies played its best game in the last five Saturday. They'll likely be around a No. 7 seed in the NCAAs, depending on how they do in the Pac-10 Tourney. I'd love to see Arizona and UW in the final. Off-court controversy has prevented Washington from more steady play. That should have been settled a long time ago, but the Prosecutor's Office moves slowly. I still think we've not seen Washington at its best yet. That said, kudos to Arizona. Williams is a lock for the conference's POY. 

Since: Jan 10, 2011
Posted on: February 20, 2011 9:55 am

Arizona win proves Pac-10 is not soft

The best most humorous and relevant fact about the Pac-10 slash MWC debate is that Utah is joining the Pac-10.  I don't know why. It just sounds funny. All due respect, because I love Coach Wooden, and Pac-10 is nothing if it is not UCLA, but the Wizard of Westwood has his avatar in the Maestro of the Mesa at SDSU. Hollywood and the Lakers killed college hoops in Southern California, but Fishers' stealth program must, I repeat, must be recognized as the best in the west.  Yes, the tournament will bring everyone's "A" game, but for now, the preponderance of the evidence supports the national rankings as they are.  Great game between the Cats and Dogs (@AZ, btw, so draw your own conclusions), but be honest, did anyone see either team play defense? Sure, there is East coast bias due to EasternSPN's dominance in broadcasting, but if the Pac-10 wants sports dominance, they have to overcome the cultural apathy and "mellowness" that just doesn't fit with NCAA hoops MADNESS. 

Since: Nov 23, 2009
Posted on: February 20, 2011 4:07 am

Arizona win proves Pac-10 is not soft

dbljfromUofA....Arizona did not lose to St Johns (ASU did). 
Arizona is not the same team they were earlier in the season.  I would match UW and AZ against anyone....and I would still take our upper-tier teams (Washington, Zona, UCLA, Wash St and USC) over the MWC's any day.  So, the MWC has had a couple successful years and now your what?  Thats right....what the Pac 10 has been historically.  Enjoy your jr and sr laiden teams, because soon the MWC will be closer to the WAC in terms of BBall prowess.

Since: Dec 15, 2006
Posted on: February 20, 2011 12:29 am

Arizona win proves Pac-10 is not soft

Can people east of The Mountain Time Zone just admit that this, and the past 2 seasons of college basketball have seen the most parity in the sports history? Every single conference is tearing themselves up in the regular season, and I don't see it going away anytime soon. Yes you have gutter teams, but since 2008 elite teams simply haven't been that much better than anyone else.

Since: Dec 16, 2006
Posted on: February 20, 2011 12:24 am

Arizona win proves Pac-10 is not soft

All I can do is laugh at the MWC. BYU didn't play the same Arizona team. 

Since: Jul 24, 2007
Posted on: February 20, 2011 12:21 am

Arizona win proves Pac-10 is not soft

Apache the non spelling guy that you are, here's a little song I learned as a kid, just for you. "My bologna has a first name is OSCAR, my bologna has a second name is MAYER, oh I love to eat it every day, and if you ask me why I'd say, Oscar Mayer has a way with BOLOGNA." What happened in Tucson a year ago is in the past. This year was another story in itself in Provo. Arizona couldn't find a way to stop the Jimmer. That was then and this is now. St Johns was a bad loss a few weeks ago. Now they're a tourney lock. Arizona is playing their way in, the same way. I like the way we match up with both SDSU and BYU, although the Cats have been beaten by both the last times they both played. This Arizona team is growing up this year. Where they were a month ago when they got smoked by Washington, to holding on to beat the same Dawgs today, just goes to show you their improvement. They are being tested. SDSU and BYU will be tested this week. Other than that, when will they be challenged again? If it's the NCAA's then they stand more of a chance to lose a close game than a battle tested team that has been challenged. I again can and do look forward to the Madness that is March.

Since: Oct 7, 2007
Posted on: February 19, 2011 11:30 pm

Arizona win proves Pac-10 is not soft

hey apache125,
That's why 11th seeded washington DESTROYED the 3rd seeded new mexico lobos who won the mwc last year in the second round of the tourney. the game wasn't even close, the huskies dominated new mexico in every single aspect of the game...sounds like you got it all wrong buddy. the pac ten wins when it matters.

Since: Feb 11, 2011
Posted on: February 19, 2011 11:05 pm

Arizona win proves Pac-10 is not soft

Since: Jan 24, 2011
Posted on: February 19, 2011 11:03 pm

Arizona win proves Pac-10 is not soft

You are so up in the night with this article why aren't You writing about the MWC who deserve the attention Apache your dead right. the ACC & Pac-10 are not For real this year.

Since: Jan 24, 2011
Posted on: February 19, 2011 10:56 pm

Arizona win proves Pac-10 is not soft

Balony , thats why BYU Beat AZ by 38 at there Home last year and the reason they wouldn't even come to play BYU in Provo Utah this year they had to have a neutral Court and BYU Still Thumped them by 87-65 BY 22 points this year and thats after Coach Rose put the subs in , when BYU was up by 30 . the MWC Owns the Pac-10 .

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or