Arizona Basketball: Bay Area Sweep Puts Cats Back in Pac-12 Race

Doug BrodessCorrespondent IFebruary 5, 2012

TUCSON, AZ - DECEMBER 10:  Milton Jennings #24 of the Clemson Tigers drives the ball against Solomon Hill #44 of the Arizona Wildcats during the college basketball game at McKale Center on December 10, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona. The Wildcats defeated the Tigers 63-47. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Sean Miller's Arizona Wildcats are learning how to win games in lots of different ways this season.

They have created victories with their three-point shooting. They have produced W's by dribble penetration.

But when the Cats went to NorCal this past week, they used suffocating defense that limited both of their opponents to miserable shooting stats.

On Thursday, Cal shot 1-for-8 from beyond the arc (12.5 percent).

On Saturday, Stanford shot 16-for-63 (25.4 percent) from the field, including 3-for-12 from three-point range (25 percent).

The result gave U of A their first weekend sweep of the season and helped the Wildcats jump back into the Pac-12 race.

This week, Arizona plays Colorado and Utah.

The Thursday game against the Buffs gives the Cats an opportunity to avenge a frustrating defeat three weeks ago.

If the Cats can go 2-0 this coming week, they will move up a little more in the conference standings.

That will set up a very pivotal Washington weekend, where the Cats will face WSU and UDub for what could be a chance to move into the league lead before closing out the regular season on the road against Arizona State.

It is critical that the Cats keep winning because, currently, their RPI, as reported on CBSSports.com, will not help them come Selection Sunday.