ARIZONA (19-8, 10-4 Pac-12) AT WASHINGTON (18-8, 11-3 Pac-12)
Time: 3 p.m. (Noon PT)
Location: Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle, Wash.
Arizona 68 (No. 3 Pac-12)
Washington 64 (No. 2 Pac-12)
Line: Washington -3.5 (139 o/u)
Arizona Players to Watch: F Solomon Hill, 6-6 Jr. (12.5 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.7 apg); G Kyle Fogg, 6-3 Sr. (12.8 ppg, 2.4 apg, 1.3 spg); G Brendon Lavender, 6-5 Sr. (4.6 ppg, 52.2% 3s, 50% FG). Lavender came off the bench for a team-best 17 points in Thursday’s 76-72 win over Washington State. The senior was 5-of-7 from the 3-point line in the victory.
Washington Players to Watch: G Tony Wroten, 6-5 Fr. (16.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.6 apg); G Terrence Ross, 6-6 So. (15.1 ppg, 7 rpg, 1.1 spg); G Abdul Gaddy, 6-3 Jr. (7.9 ppg, 4.5 apg, 2.6 rpg). Wroten, who is third in the Pac-12 in scoring and seventh in assists, is one of five freshman nominated for the 2012 Wayman Tisdale Award that goes to the nation’s best freshman.
Storylines: Both teams have gotten back into the Pac-12 race with recent runs. Washington has tied Cal atop the league standings at 11-3 with seven wins in its last eight games, including recent victories at Oregon State (75-72 on Feb. 12) and at home against Arizona State (77-69 on Thursday). The Wildcats are a game back of the Huskies and Bears at 10-4 after five straight wins, including a 78-74 win at Cal on Feb. 2 and a 76-72 win at Washington State on Thursday.
Key Stats: Washington earned a big 69-67 win at Arizona on Jan. 28. Wroten scored 17 points and blocked Josiah Turner’s layup at the buzzer to preserve the win. In the victory, the Huskies hit 7-of-16 3-pointers (43.8 percent) and outscored the Wildcats 40-35 in the second half. UW is second in the Pac-12 in scoring at 75.3 points per game. Arizona is third in the league in scoring defense, holding opponents to 61.7 points per game. The Wildcats also lead in the conference in 3-poitn defense (27.4 percent) and are second in field goal defense (40.0). Washington appears to have a rebounding advantage. The Huskies lead the Pac-12 in rebounds per game (40.5) and are tied for the lead with Stanford in rebounding margin (plus-5.6). Arizona is 7-2 on the road this season, including three in a row and 5-of-6. The Huskies have won 12 of their 14 games at AAA this season. They are 8-1 at home in Pac-12 games.
The Bottom Line: The way Arizona is playing, combined with the home court advantage and UW’s youth, equals a big road win for the Wildcats.
The Pick: Arizona 70, Washington 66