No. 17 Arizona and No. 3 Arizona State are set to meet on Saturday in Tucson to begin Pac-12 play. With so much anticipation built up for the game, our hoops writers created a one stop shop to get ready for the game. Take a look at Arizona's non-conference performance by the numbers, a snapshot of ASU's success and a breakdown of key matchups.
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The final non-conference game of the year was a weird one, indeed. But nonetheless, the No. 18 ranked Wildcats sit at 10-3 with a chance to knock off the No. 3 Arizona State Sun Devils in just over a week in Tucson. With the up and down roller coaster ride the last couple months, Arizona might be getting ready to hit its stride.
Arizona’s football campaign contained plenty of surprising and exciting moments in 2017, yet there were plenty of head scratching times that hang over some of the best moments. As the team prepares to play Purdue in the Foster Farms Bowl Game on December 27, let’s take a look back at the highs and lows of the year.
Arizona men’s basketball won its fifth game in a row at the Pit against New Mexico on Saturday night behind a career high 26 points from Rawle Alkins in his first start of the 2017 season. His performance stood out as part of the five biggest takeaways from the victory.
Arizona’s biggest non-conference home game of the year came down to the final seconds on the clock, just like the last two games. And in similar fashion, the Wildcats emerged from the other side with a victory, this time an 88-82 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide. Here were some of the biggest storylines from Saturday night’s win:
For the fifth time in six seasons under head coach Rich Rodriguez, Arizona football is going bowling. On Sunday, the team was selected to participate in the Foster Farms Bowl against Purdue (6-6) on December 27 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
Arizona men’s basketball outlasted No. 7 Texas A&M 67-64 in the Valley of the Sun Shootout using a formula that had been foreign to it seven games into the season: defense. It’s what an Arizona basketball game usually feels like but had disappeared until now. “I thought this was our best defensive effort of the year,” head coach Sean Miller said.
Initially it appeared as if the Wildcats were on their way to losing a fourth game in five tries after a sluggish first half. But Arizona eventually found its way in the second half, force feeding Deandre Ayton in the low post, who scored ten points in the final 20 minutes of regulation, and forcing turnovers on defense.
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Weeks prior to the Bahamas fiasco, head coach Sean Miller said his team’s defense and effort needed to improve. Despite Arizona blowing out Long Beach State 91-56 in its return to the comforts of the McKale Center, those same issues resurfaced and Sean Miller made it clear that this was hardly a step in the right direction for his team.
In just her second season as the Arizona women’s basketball head coach, Adia Barnes has positioned the University of Arizona to be among the future staples of college basketball recruiting, possibly joining the likes of Connecticut and Tennessee
The Arizona Wildcats (7-4) and Arizona State Sun Devils (6-5) enter this year’s Territorial Cup with a lot at stake. The winner will get a higher quality bowl game and end the season the second place in the Pac-12 South. Here’s how each team can come away victorious and hold the cup when the clock hits triple-zeros.
The confines of Sun Devil Stadium, situated 113 miles north of Arizona Stadium, have been an unfriendly place to the Arizona Wildcats since head coach Rich Rodriguez took over in 2012. The 2017 chapter will be written this Saturday in Tempe where the home team has won the last four matchups. Who will be crowned “King of the North” this year?
The Nassau, Bahamas native, who spent the earlier part of the week speaking to students of Mt. Carmel Preparatory Academy about what it meant to come home to play, put on a show in his return.
Both Arizona (7-4, 5-3) and Arizona State (6-6, 5-3) will come into the game unranked, but there’s plenty up for grabs besides the annual bragging right. The winner will end the season at second place in the Pac-12 South standings and lock up a higher quality bowl game.
On Nov. 16, a 51-second video released by the ASU Police Department showed an aggravated assault from a February incident that took place during a rugby match between Arizona State and the University of Arizona at the SDFC practice fields in Tempe.
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Whether the Lorenzo Romar effect is ahead of schedule or Sean Miller had a change of heart in coaching philosophy, one thing is certain: Arizona is playing a style of basketball equivalent to the air raid offenses of college football that is a far cry from the typical Sean Miller teams of recent memory.
Think the 2016 Territorial Cup game was impressive? Check this stat line out: Arizona put on a masterful ground display to the tune of a new school record with 534 yards.
Arizona assistant coach Mark Phelps was suspended for five days without pay for a violation of the NCAA rules and forward Keanu Pinder was suspended for one game for also violating the NCAA rules.
In today’s one-and-done mentality in college basketball, it is rare to see a four or five-year player starting at a program with as much prowess as Arizona. In recent years, Wildcat fans have seen the likes of Kadeem Allen, Kaleb Tarczewski, Gabe York and T.J. McConnell play as seniors in Tucson. And for every senior, there’s always a freshman who leaves school to pursue the NBA, such as Stanley Johnson or Lauri Markkanen.
LOS ANGELES — In a fight for Pac-12 South supremacy, the No. 22 Arizona Wildcats were outmatched by the No. 17 USC Trojans and came up short of comeback in a 49-35 loss. The loss drops Arizona football to an overall record of 6-3 (4-2 in Pac-12), but on the bright side, it don’t drop in the Pac-12 standings and remain at second place.