The Arizona Wildcats, for the most part, have not had any trouble in the Pac-12 when they play on Thursday night. The team is 4-1 on the first game of their weekly swing with a conference foe and just seem to play better than usual. The second game has been a nightmare in the last few weeks, with the Wildcats losing their last three games on Saturday by a total of five points.
Arizona picked up their biggest victory of the season on Thursday night as they knocked off the Cal Bears in front of a raucous crowd at Haas Pavilion. They'll have a quick 36-hour turnaround to recover and prepare for the Stanford Cardinal, who are tied for second place in the conference. While the Wildcats had to scratch and claw to win earlier in the week, Stanford dominated Arizona St. and cruised to a victory.
The Cardinal are undefeated at home in conference play, though they have struggled mightily on the road. Before knocking off ASU, the team had lost three in a row and had seen their at-large NCAA Tournament chances go down the drain.
Power forward Josh Owens is their leading scorer, averaging a little more than 12 points and six rebounds. Freshman point guard Chasson Randle is off to a strong start at Stanford and can score the ball in a variety of ways. Aaron Bright is the most electric scorer on the team, averages 12 points-per-game and is shooting nearly 43% from behind the arc. Once a highly regarded recruit, sophomore Dwight Powell has taken a step back this season and has struggled on the offensive end of the court.
Stanford does not typically employ a true center to clog the paint, although they'll have a slight size advantage over Arizona. That being said, there aren't any matchups to be terrified of heading into the game. I'm expecting yet another close game, but you have to like the way Arizona has been playing the last few games.