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What Arizona women's basketball has to do to host in the NCAA tournament

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Marison Bilagody | The Daily Wildcat Sam Thomas, junior, listening to head coach, Adia Barnes, during a timeout. Thomas finished with three blocks.

Arizona women’s basketball can still host NCAA tournament games despite losses to University of California, Berkeley and Colorado.

Even with their shortcomings against Cal and Colorado, Arizona can still have a home-court advantage in the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament. Their home court advantage against ranked teams has given the team a big boost of adrenaline and can help them out in the early rounds of the NCAA tournament.  Arizona showing up big against teams like UCLA, Stanford and ASU this season at home are big for a team who could get a three or four seed in the NCAA tournament. 

With the Pac-12 tournament coming up this week, what this team needs to do to make up for their bad losses in the last couple of weeks is beat ASU for a third time or beat a Cal team that showed them up on their home floor. 

The Wildcats are the four seed, so they will get a first round bye and face the winner of No. 5 ASU and No. 12 Cal. Beating a team three times is as hard as things come, especially when it’s your arch-rival and a top 25 team like ASU that is historically good in games like this. Arizona has a tall order ahead of it. There could potentially be three games in three days, or they could have the final game for the next two weeks. 

Giving Arizona two weeks off after losing three-of-four would give it a good opportunity to restart its season, but winning three games in three days would give them all the momentum they need heading into the tournament only for it to die with two weeks off. 

If Arizona wants to make a statement in the Pac-12 tournament, they’ll need one player in particular to step up, and that is Sam Thomas. One player that you could compare her to from the men’s team is Dylan Smith; when she is on, she is on. They’re not exactly the same kind of player, but they share the same shooting inconsistencies. This weekend, Thomas was a big part of Arizona’s win over No. 4 Stanford where she went 6-10 shooting with 17 points. She followed up that performance with a one-point game and shooting 0-6. She did the same thing last weekend where she followed up a 31-point game against Utah with a seven-point game against Colorado. 

Arizona will have its first game in the Pac-12 Tournament Friday, March 6, where they will play the winner of the Cal-ASU game. Tipoff will begin at 12:30 p.m. 


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