Dream On: Breaking down the Pac-10 basketball race after Arizona takes care of ASUby Scott Terrell on Feb. 14, 2011, under Sports
For the Pac-10 championship, one win down, four to go.
For the Arizona/ASU rivalry, one win down, googolplex to go.
There’s no logical reason for a 1st place team to lose to a 10th place team but after the young Arizona Wildcats spent seven full days basking in the spotlight as frontrunners, I had a hint of nervousness.
Then the UA’s shooting percentage dipped into the 30s. The Sun Devil zone was packing the paint and Derrick Williams’ right hand still looks like he’s ready to play jai-alai.
Take the win and get out of town.
The Wildcats’ depth was once again on display. Against Cal, MoMo Jones and Kevin Parrom combined for 52 points while Kyle Fogg and Jesse Perry had a total of 11. In Tempe, Jones and Parrom had six but Fogg and Perry pitched in 36.
It’s also nice when you can score 40 fewer points than in your previous game and still win by 15.
It almost seems like too much good news too soon. I’m terrified we’re going to wake up and find out Leonardo DiCaprio was planting this in our minds.
Huh…what? Sean Miller doesn’t exist? Kevin O’Neill is still the coach?!
With each win the bad memories fade further into history: ASU winning five straight while USC’s coach and Grand Canyon U’s coach were in charge. The Wildcats winning no more than 11 Pac-10 games in each of the last five years.
The UA already has 10 conference wins this year! Arizona only has four total losses! To Kansas (24-1), Jimmer (24-2), Washington (17-7) and…Oregon State (9-15). That Beaver defeat is the proof we’re not dreaming.
But we are dreaming of the conference crown.
Why are only four more wins needed? UCLA and Washington still play each other. Since the game’s in Seattle the Huskies will be favored which would mean the best both teams can do is 14-4. If the Cats win their other games that’s also 14-4.
Here are the remaining schedules:
|Feb 17||@ Stanford|
|Feb 20||@ Cal|
|Mar 3||@ Washington|
|Mar 5||@ WSU|
|Feb 17||@ ASU|
|Feb 19||@ ARIZONA|
|Feb 24||@ USC|
|Feb 26||@ UCLA|
I still think if someone gets to 14 wins they take the title outright. UCLA is going to be challenged by all four of their road games. Washington has already lost four road games to teams worse than Arizona. We aren’t going to see a three-way tie at 14-4.
For the true optimists, if the Cats can beat UW this Saturday and UCLA a week later, the UA can wrap this thing up early.
A more realistic way to look at it: You want to finish the next two weeks no worse than tied with the Bruins and one game ahead of the Huskies. Then you have UCLA lose at Washington, you beat the Oregon schools at McKale and you update the championship banner.
Each game during the next two weeks will be a war though. If ASU was a trap game, WSU is a TRAP GAME!!!!1!!. Arizona beat them last time and the talk of the week will be the white-out on Saturday. The Wildcats to a man will say they aren’t looking past the Cougars, but you don’t look ahead with your mouth.
Another week and the Cats remain in the driver’s seat. Hold onto that wheel, fellas.
And if you’re in there, Leonardo, keep doing your thing.
- – - – -