After a 76-72 victory over California the Arizona Wildcats are now tied for first place in the Pac Ten with the Bears. With a month left before the Post-Season starts the Wildcats young players are consistently making plays. Against California Freshmen Lamont Jones and Derrick Williams combined for 25 points. Before this game Williams had scored at least twenty points in four consecutive games. With nine games left to play in the conference the Wildcats need to keep their intensity level high and avoid losing games to teams in the bottom half of the Pac Ten.
The Pac Ten is not as strong as it has been in previous years and the conference might not get more than three teams in the NCAA Tournament. It is very important to win the conference to ensure an invite to March Madness. The way the season has gone so far first place in the Pac Ten will be a battle between Arizona, California and Arizona State. The teams that finish in second and third place might also have to advance to the Championship game of the Pac Ten Conference Tournament to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. If any team in the conference that did not finish in the top three goes on a run and wins the conference tournament it is very possible that the Pac Ten would only get two bids.
Arizona has the talent to win the Pac Ten, but they must get consistent play down the stretch. Any team can be beaten, but the Wildcats must realize that finishing in 2nd or 3rd place will not guarantee them a trip to the Big Dance. Arizona cannot afford to lose games against Oregon, USC, Stanford and Oregon State. A 7-2 record down the stretch should be enough to win the Pac Ten.