This Week in the Pac-12, Feb. 13: Breaking down championship race as all four contenders hit roadby Scott Terrell on Feb. 13, 2013, under Sports
There’s a three-way tie atop the Pac-12 basketball standings plus a fourth team hanging around. Who has the advantage the rest of the way?
This Week in the Pac-12 (TWit-Pac) breaks it all down. First, here is this week’s TV schedule (all times Arizona/Mountain):
|Wed Feb 13||ASU||Utah||6 p.m.||P12N|
|Thu Feb 14||UCLA||Cal||7 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Sat Feb 16||UCLA||Stanford||2 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Sun Feb 17||ARIZONA||Utah||1 p.m.||P12N|
A lot of games on ESPN2 this week but the Wildcats don’t have any of them. The Cats do avoid the 9 p.m. Mountain Time starts which I know the local and back-east fans appreciate. To the games:
Wed. Feb. 13
ASU (18-6 / 7-4) at Utah (10-13 / 2-9)
In four of the last five games ASU has had the opposite result as the UA. The Sun Devils beat UCLA and Cal while the Wildcats defeated Washington and Stanford.
OSU (12-12 / 2-9) at WSU (11-13 / 2-9)
The Beavers got the win against Utah (by 18 points no less) so now OSU is trying to move into 10th place. Baby steps.
Oregon (19-5 / 8-3) at Washington (13-11 / 5-6)
Dominic Arits remains doubtful for the Ducks. I don’t think any athlete has gotten more famous by being injured since Wally Pipp.
Thu. Feb. 14
UCLA (18-6 / 8-3) at Cal (14-9 / 6-5)
It’s fitting that the Bruins and Golden Bears start off the night on one of the biggest days for the teddy bear industry. Will Shabazz Muhammad learn to love his teammates?
ARIZONA (20-3 / 8-3) at Colorado (16-7 / 6-5)
Buff fans have had this game circled ever since the Shot Heard ‘Round the World That Did Not Count.
USC (11-13 / 6-5) at Stanford (15-9 / 6-5)
How does USC have a winning conference record? Bob Cantu has the Trojans on a three-game winning streak.
Sat. Feb. 16
UCLA at Stanford
Good Stanford has wins over Cal, Oregon and ASU. Bad Stanford lost at USC and to Washington at home.
Oregon at WSU
The Cougars don’t play Utah again so the battle to avoid last place might extend until the end of the season.
ASU at Colorado
The Buffaloes got a solid road sweep last week on the Oregon Trail. Now CU plays three straight at home.
OSU at Washington
The Husky tailspin is now six losses in seven games. Wildcat fans can be happy the one win was against ASU.
Sun. Feb. 17
ARIZONA at Utah
The Cats’ first Pac-12 Sunday game did not go well. I’m guessing the extra day of rest will be used to practice against a zone.
USC at Cal
Crabbe Cobbs! Crabbe Cobbs! Crabbe Cobbs!
* * *
Four weeks left in regular season with four teams still in contention for the Pac-12 championship. Here is each contender’s remaining schedule:
|Thu Feb 14||at Colo|
|Sun Feb 17||at Utah|
|Wed Feb 20||Wash|
|Sat Feb 23||WSU|
|Wed Feb 27||at USC|
|Sat Mar 2||at UCLA|
|Sat Mar 9||ASU|
|Wed Feb 13||at Wash|
|Sat Feb 16||at WSU|
|Thu Feb 21||Cal|
|Sat Feb 23||Stan|
|Thu Feb 28||OSU|
|Thu Mar 7||at Colo|
|Sat Mar 9||at Utah|
|Thu Feb 14||at Cal|
|Sat Feb 16||at Stan|
|Sun Feb 24||at USC|
|Wed Feb 27||ASU|
|Sat Mar 2||ARIZ|
|Wed Mar 6||at WSU|
|Sat Mar 9||at Wash|
|Wed Feb 13||at Utah|
|Sat Feb 16||at Colo|
|Wed Feb 20||WSU|
|Sat Feb 23||Wash|
|Wed Feb 27||at UCLA|
|Sat Mar 2||at USC|
|Sat Mar 9||at ARIZ|
It’s interesting that none of the four teams has more home games left than road games. Arizona has the advantage of being the only one of the four to finish at home.
As far as the timing of the games, none of the final four has to do a Wednesday/Sunday week. Arizona does not have a traditional Thursday/Saturday weekend left, however.
UCLA has the toughest remaining schedule. Five road games and then the only pair at home is against fellow contenders.
Oregon still has the easiest schedule but it’s not as simple as it previously looked. Both Cal and Stanford have proven themselves to be feisty on the road.
Winning at home and splitting on the road is still the formula for success. Arizona’s games with its two weakest opponents are both on the road so I don’t anticipate any easy victories. Words like “grind,” “excruciating” and “mychesthurts” will remain very familiar to Wildcat Universe.
Ain’t it fun?
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