No. 3 UCLA at No. 7 Arizona tops week in Pac-12 hoops
Things to watch this week in Pac-12 Conference basketball:
GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 3 UCLA at No. 7 Arizona on Thursday. The Pac-12′s two highest-ranked teams meet for the second time in nine days with the conference lead on the line. The Bruins (10-1, 8-1 Pac-12) won the first game 75-59 at home by shutting down one of the nation’s top offenses. The Wildcats (17-2, 7-1) shot 31% and went 7 for 28 from 3-point distance in one of their worst offensive performances of the season. UCLA is hoping to get back leading scorer Johnny Juzang, who missed the last two games while in COVID-19 protocols. The Bruins are also hoping Jaime Jaquez can play after being limited to seven minutes against Stanford on Saturday due to a sprained ankle.
LOOKING AHEAD: Arizona’s week doesn’t get any easier. On Saturday, the Wildcats will host No. 19 Southern California, which bounced back from a loss to Stanford last week with a win over California. Arizona also plays at rival Arizona State on Monday. The conference’s Oregon schools head to the mountains to play Colorado and Utah. The Washington schools will play the two Bay Area schools.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: This week is the first with multiple ranked matchups since the 2017 Pac-12 championships semifinals and finals. ... Washington State has climbed 25 spots in the NET rankings to No. 37 during a three-game winning streak. ... Oregon’s N’Faly Dante leads the nation in shooting at 71.9%.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Terrell Brown Jr., Washington. The Arizona transfer is thriving with the Huskies. Brown leads the Pac-12 with 21.6 points per game and 2.4 steals per game, which is eighth nationally. He was named the Pac-12 player of the week after averaging 28 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in Washington’s sweep of the mountain schools.
ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE: A heated rematch on Friday tops the week in women’s Pac-12 basketball. No. 8 Arizona and No. 19 Oregon had plenty of animosity when they met on Jan. 15 in a 68-66 overtime win by the Ducks. Arizona coach Adia Barnes was reprimanded by the Pac-12 for making public comments about the officiating and apologized after flipping her middle finger at Oregon coach Kelly Graves after the game. Barnes and her players also claimed Graves repeatedly cussed at the Arizona coach.
Compiled by AP Basketball Writer John Marshall in Phoenix.
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