Arizona Wildcats Basketball: Can the Cats Run the Table?
The Arizona Wildcats are 12-0 heading into 2013. Their upcoming schedule allows fans to speculate whether or not they can win their remaining 18 games heading into the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas.
The Wildcats possess a balanced offense spearheaded by Mark Lyons, Solomon Hill, Nick Johnson, and freshmen Kaleb Tarczewski and Brandon Ashley. Lyons leads a trio of Wildcats who average double figures in scoring with 13.4 points per game.
Master recruiter and head coach Sean Miller was able to reel in Ashley and Tarczewski to join his Wildcats. They haven't missed a beat and continue to get better. Ashley is averaging 8.7 points per game and 6.5 rebounds, while Tarczewski adds six points per game and 5.8 rebounds of his own.
Senior forward Kevin Parrom has also been terrific, averaging 47 percent from beyond the arc and 8.9 points per game. Parrom may very well be Arizona's hottest shooter.
Arizona currently ranks third in the nation behind only Duke and Michigan. Both teams have much harder upcoming schedules than Arizona, so finishing the year out at No. 1 overall is somewhat of a possibility.
Let's keep in mind that winning 30 games in a row, no matter who you are playing, is an extremely tough task. The Pac-12 isn't the toughest conference in NCAA Men's Division I basketball by any means, but it does contain teams such as UCLA, who is young and getting better by the game. The Wildcats will have to face them twice on their road to perfection.
Also, be conscious of the fact that this is college basketball. Upsets are bound to happen. You can get your hopes up about something you want to happen, such as Arizona winning out, but that always sets up the chance for disappointment.
Conference games on the road set you up for disappointment more than anything. Records usually don't even matter as the rivalries are always in full force.
Let's take a look at Arizona's upcoming schedule moving forward:
|1/3/13||vs. Colorado (10-2)|
|1/5/13||vs. Utah (8-4)|
|1/10/13||at Oregon (11-2)|
|1/12/13||at Oregon State (10-3)|
|1/19/13||at Arizona State (11-2)|
|1/24/13||vs. UCLA (10-3)|
|1/26/13||vs. USC (5-8)|
|1/31/13||at Washington (8-5)|
|2/2/13||at Washington State (9-4)|
|2/6/13||vs. Stanford (9-4)|
|2/10/13||vs. California (8-4)|
|2/14/13||at Colorado (10-2)|
|2/17/13||at Utah (8-4)|
|2/20/13||vs. Washington (8-5)|
|2/23/13||vs. Washington State (9-4)|
|2/27/13||at USC (5-8)|
|3/2/13||at UCLA (10-3)|
|3/9/13||vs. Arizona State (11-2)|
As you can see, all 18 remaining games are against conference opponents within the Pac-12. While sweeping the schedule looks appealing and possible, Arizona fans shouldn't break the remote or television set if they lose one, two or even three of these games.
Every team in the Pac-12 aside from USC has a winning record right now, but don't be surprised. Aside from UCLA beating Missouri last week in overtime, there hasn't been a notable win by a Pac-12 team against a ranked opponent all year. That is, obviously, not including Arizona and what they have accomplished.
As we know, whatever your seeding is heading into March Madness does not matter and is virtually irrelevant. Whoever is the hottest team for six games in a row and plays the best team ball will hoist the championship trophy.
Arizona certainly possesses the talent to get to the promised land, but only time will tell if they will actually get it done.
All statistics are courtesy of ESPN.com.
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