Arizona Wildcats Send Message in ASU Win

Tom PhillipsCorrespondent IJanuary 24, 2010

Arizona sent a message to the rest of the Pac-10 conference last night, routing ASU 77-58.

The Wildcats were down by 10 points with eight minutes left in the first half but were able to tie the score by halftime.

The first 12 minutes were among the worst that any Wildcat team has ever played. They scored 10 points and shot 24 percent from the field.

Then something clicked for the young team, coupled with the fact that ASU stopped hitting their shots.

The rest of the way out they shot an astonishing 75 percent from the field, as they looked like the Cats of old.

Watching this Wildcat team dominate ASU was like watching Arizona during the Lute years. ASU had no answer for whatever it was that Arizona threw at them.

The Cats were confident and did not get down on themselves. The frustration was evident in the first 12 minutes as they could not hit shots, the offense wasn't flowing, and ASU's defense was suffocating.

Surprisingly, ASU Head Coach Herb Sendek's technical and the hard foul on Ty Abbott, things that most people think might spark ASU, actually fired up Arizona. After the hard foul, Arizona went on a 9-1 run to stretch their lead to 20.

For a team that was put together in four weeks last April, the Wildcats have put together some great basketball. It also says something about the coaching.

Miller has Arizona on the up. This game answered all the "$2 million a year for a head coach" questions.

Miller is one of the best coaches in college basketball. Not best young, or best up-and-coming, just best. This game may prove to be where he makes his mark on the Arizona program.

This might be the game that fans remember as the point where Arizona turned themselves around and became an elite program once again.

In a bitter rivalry like this one, a game like this could help turn around Arizona's season.

The Cats, once again, now have a shot at winning the Pac-10 regular season title.