The UA cannot afford a slip-up against one of the worst teams in the Pac-12.
The Arizona Wildcats saw their five-game winning streak come to an end last weekend as they lost a heartbreaker to the Washington Huskies. While any chance at a conference championship is out of the question, the UA is still right in the thick of the race for a March Madness bid.
The USC Trojans will be coming to the McKale Center on Thursday night, and while they are among the worst BCS conference teams in the country, they will give the Wildcats everything they've got as they look to salvage their season. They are led by head coach Kevin O'Neil, who served here as an assistant coach in the 1990's and was the interim head coach at Arizona during the 2007-2008 season.
USC is led by undersized point guard Maurice Jones, who plays with a big heart given his size. The official listing may say 5-foot-8, but most feel he is closer to 5'6 or 5'7. He leads the Trojans in points (13.7), assists (3.3) and steals (1.8) each game. Aaron Fuller and Byron Wesley are decent scoring options on the wings, although neither is much of a threat for a breakout scoring game. Dewayne Dedmon could give the UA problems with his height and wing span around the basket, but the seven-foot center is not much of an offensive weapon.
This will be the final week of home games for the Arizona seniors and the team simply cannot lose tonight if they hope to reach the NCAA Tournament. Simply put, the Wildcats feature more talent, have the deeper bench and will have a loud home crowd on their side. A win by anything less than 15 points would probably be an upset.
For more on the Wildcats, head on over to AZ Desert Swarm.