This Week in the Pac-12, Jan. 12: Arizona and other hoops contenders return homeby Scott Terrell on Jan. 12, 2012, under Sports
After two weeks of Pac-12 basketball it wasn’t a shock that only one team still had a perfect conference record. It was a surprise that the one team was Colorado.
But then you realize the Buffaloes are the only Pac-12 school that played the first two weekends at home.
That changes this week as Colorado hits the road while the other four teams in the top half of the league return home. Will there be a new conference leader when the final buzzer sounds Sunday night?
TWIT-Pac is ready to watch more hoops with you. Here’s the TV schedule (and, as always, all times are Arizona/Mountain):
|Thu Jan 12||OSU||ARIZONA||6:30 p.m.||KWBA/FCSC|
|Utah||Stanford||8 p.m.||CSN BA|
|Colorado||Cal||9 p.m.||CSN CA|
|Sat Jan 14||Oregon||ARIZONA||1:30 p.m.||CBS|
|OSU||ASU||6 p.m.||FSAZ/ROOT NW|
|Utah||Cal||8:30 p.m.||CSN CA|
|Sun Jan 15||WSU||Washington||5 p.m.||FSN/PT|
CBS = Columbia Broadcasting System (I did not know that)
CSN BA = Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
CSN CA = Comcast SportsNet California
FCSC = Fox College Sports Central
FSAZ = Fox Sports Arizona
FSN = Fox Sports Net
PT = Prime Ticket
ROOT NW = Root Sports Northwest
Thu. Jan. 12
OSU (11-5 / 1-3) at ARIZONA (11-5 / 2-1)
This is the Cats’ only game against Oregon State this year. Considering the Beavers have won three of the last four in the series, that might not be a bad thing.
Utah (4-11 / 1-2) at Stanford (13-3 / 3-1)
Stanford is coming off the longest game in school history, a quadruple-overtime victory at OSU last Saturday. I’m guessing they have a little bit easier time in this one.
Oregon (11-5 / 2-2) at ASU (5-10 / 1-2)
If you’re looking for new material to use against your ASU friends and coworkers, might I recommend: “The Sun Devils are so bad they once lost twice in the same NCAA tournament!” (1973, when they used to play regional third-place games.)
Colorado (11-4 / 3-0) at Cal (13-4 / 3-1)
The Buffaloes must’ve been thinking this Pac-12 stuff is pretty easy as they won their first three league games by a combined 69 points. Caution: Rough road ahead.
Sat. Jan. 14
Oregon at ARIZONA
Contrasting the OSU series, the UA has won the last six against the Ducks, with none closer than last year’s eight-point win at McKale.
Colorado at Stanford
A quick look at Colorado’s profile: 68 in the RPI and they don’t have a single non-conference win against the RPI top-100. Don’t expect CU’s current six-game winning streak to last long.
OSU at ASU
I will give the Devils credit for beating USC last week. When you kick your leading scoring off the team and only suit up six scholarship players it’s not easy to beat anybody.
Utah at Cal
The Pac-12 favorites stumbled in their road opener in Corvallis last week, making the other contenders in the conference feel better about their chances.
Sun. Jan. 15
WSU (9-7 / 1-3) at Washington (10-6 / 3-1)
The Huskies beat Seattle U. Tuesday night. The Redhawks had three wins against current Pac-12 teams the last two years so I’m going to give UW credit for a solid win.
UCLA (9-7 / 2-2) at USC (5-12 / 0-4)
The team most upset to see Utah win last week was USC. The Trojans now have the indistinction of carrying the Worst Team in the Conference banner.
* * *
Defending your home court is even more important than usual this year. It’s going to be extremely difficult to make up for home losses with road wins so if you want to contend for the Pac-12 title (or position yourself for an NCAA tournament at-large bid) you have to win at home.
The Wildcats (and the car dealership) hope the familiar atmosphere of McKale Center will help the ball go through the hoop. After making 8-of-20 (40%) from beyond the arc against ASU, the UA shot a combined 5-for-32 (16%) on 3s in L.A.
Nick Johnson in particular has had a rough go of it lately. The freshman started by hitting 46% (13-for-28) of his 3-point shots in the first eight games of his college career, but has cooled to 19% (5-for-26) over his last eight games. Maybe for the time being Johnson should focus on posterizing the opposing team’s center.
Oregon State leads the Pac-12 in scoring and shooting. Arizona leads in 3-point defense and is second in field goal percentage defense. In this strength-versus-strength matchup you hope the strength of the home court is the difference.
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