The Arizona Wildcats are on a roll. The Wildcats defeated Washington State and University of Washington last weekend to extend their win streak to 14, the third longest active streak in the NCAA, just behind Gonzaga (22), and New Mexico State (18). They are now listed as No. 5 in the AP Poll along with being No. 1 in the Pac-12 Conference.
What this Means:
The Wildcats have gained a lot more momentum since beating UCLA on their home court and getting Allonzo Trier Back. Putting them at No. 5 in the Nation and No. 1 in the Pac-12 puts a completely new spotlight on the team. They have to prove everyone that they are where they are because the deserve it. To do that, they will have to get a lot of extra work done. Arizona will need to realize their problems, that Sean Miller continues to talk about week after week.
Last week, for example, the Wildcats headed into halftime against the Washington Huskies down by two points. At one point it seemed as if they were tearing themselves apart. In the first half alone, Arizona had turned the ball over to Washington 9 times.
These are just some of the problems that this Arizona team has to admit and work to fix. From now, any mistake can expose them for the upcoming tournament season.
There are seven games remaining until the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas. Arizona will have to face Oregon and Oregon State away, Cal, Stanford, USC, and UCLA at the McKale Center and ASU over in Tempe.
It’s a long shot to ask Arizona to win all seven of their final regular season games. Ultimately, the struggles that they have had to face over the last few weeks will be their Achilles Heel in the next coming weeks. They must expect a full force from Oregon on Saturday with a chance at returning to the top of the Pac-12. And, they must expect a full force from UCLA on Feb. 25 with a chance at revenge from what Arizona did while at Pauley Pavilion.
Yet Arizona also cannot choose to cruise for any of their other games. The last few weeks in the Pac-12 have proven that upsets can and will happen: USC defeated UCLA, Colorado defeated the previously unbeaten Oregon Ducks.
The Wildcats take on the Oregon State Beavers tonight at 6:00 PM PST on ESPN2 and the Oregon Ducks on Saturday at 1:00 PM PST on ESPN.