TUCSON, AZ - DECEMBER 10: Solomon Hill #44 of the Arizona Wildcats puts up a shot against the Clemson Tigers 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)
The Wildcats are desperately looking to salvage their season and a win over the Bears would be huge.
Not much of anything has gone right for the Arizona Wildcats this season. Maybe they used all their good fortune up during the NCAA Tournament run last season, maybe we're seeing the impact of not having steady recruiting classes for three years, maybe it's just bad luck. But if this team wants to have any hope of salvaging their season, they need to at least give the California Golden Bears a battle on Thursday night.
It won't be easy.
The Bears are a very strong team and are currently tied for first place in the Pac-12 with Washington. They play very well at home and have called for a 'Gold Out' of the arena, although it was going to be a raucous atmosphere either way. California has a record of 17-5, including a 7-2 mark in conference play, and have two players (Allen Crabbe, Jorge Gutierrez) who are in contention for Pac-12 Player Of The Year. Those two are flanked by point guard Justin Cobbs and big man Harper Kamp, who are talented players in their own right.
With no Kevin Parrom for Arizona, it's tough to see the Wildcats winning on the road this evening. Combine the loss of their sixth man with the effects of losing three of their last five games by a total of five points and it's not tough to see why morale is down at this point.
All we can ask for is a good effort and a close game. I'm sure we'll see the former, but I'm not very confident about the latter.
Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. in Tucson and the game can be seen live on Fox Sports Net Arizona.