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February 18, 2011Matchup: Washington Huskies (18-7,10-4) vs. No. 13 Arizona Wildcats (22-4, 11-2)
Tip: Saturday 3 p.m., McKale Center, Tucson, Ariz.
TV, radio: ESPN will be broadcasting the game nationally, and the game will be available online through ESPN3. Saturday's game can be heard on the radio on KJR 950-AM.
Coaches: Lorenzo Romar, Washington (ninth year); Sean Miller (second year)
Series: Arizona leads the all-time series, 43-25, but Washington won the teams' first meeting earlier this season in Seattle, 85-68.
About the Huskies: The Huskies come into the game riding a two-game winning streak, however, none of those wins were very difficult tasks. Before their win against Arizona State Thursday, the Huskies had lost three in a row on the road. The Huskies' depth will be tested as they will likely be without junior guard Scott Suggs, who sprained his knee in the win over the Sun Devils. With Suggs out for the majority of the game, redshirt freshman C.J. Wilcox stepped up for the Huskies, scoring 16 points and collecting eight rebounds. If Suggs is out, the fifth starter could be a number of guys, but senior Venoy Overton would appear to be the likely starter because he has the most experience of Romar's options. This is Washington's last chance for a marquee victory. Although the Huskies beat Arizona at home already, a win on the road would be a huge boost to their NCAA tournament resume.
About the Wildcats: The last time Arizona lost a game was the last meeting with the Huskies in Seattle. Since that defeat, they have won seven games in a row and worked their way high into the national rankings. The Wildcats are led by sophomore Derrick Williams who is averaging 19.5 points and eight rebounds per game on the season. Williams is coming off an impressive performance in a 79-70 win over Washington State where he scored 26 points and added eight rebounds. Arizona is a very good free throw shooting team, led by a perfect 12 for 12 efforts by Williams, Arizona made 24 of their 26 attempts against the Cougars, which included a perfect 21-21 start. This game may be their toughest remaining, but if Arizona can secure this victory, the Wildcats will be well on the road to winning the outright Pacific-10 Conference championship, their first since the 2004-2005 season.
Projected Starters for Washington:
G Isaiah Thomas 5-9 185 Jr. Tacoma, Wash. 16.8 ppg, 5.7 apg
*G Venoy Overton* 6-0 185 Sr. Seattle, Wash. 5.5 ppg, 3.6 apg
C Aziz N'Diaye 7-0 260 So. Dakar, Senegal 4.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg
F Justin Holiday 6-6 185 Sr. Chatsworth, Calif. 12 ppg, 5.3 rpg
F Matthew Bryan-Amaning 6-9 240 Sr. London, England 16 ppg, 8 rpg
*The second guard for the Huskies is undetermined, Suggs is doubtful, but Romar has not said who will start in his place.
Projected Starters for Arizona
G Kyle Fogg 6-3 180 Jr. Brea, Calif. 8.6 ppg, 2.9 apg
G Lamont Jones 6-0 196 So. Harlem, N.Y. 9.5 ppg, 2.5 apg
F Jesse Perry 6-7 210 Jr. St. Louis, Mo. 6.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg
F Solomon Hill 6-6 226 So. Los Angeles, Calif. 8 ppg, 4.4 rpg
F Derrick Williams 6-8 241 So. La Mirada, Calif. 19.5 ppg, 8 rpg
Keys to the game
Washington must be able to overcome their road woes and beat a tough opponent on the road. Arizona needs to feed Williams and let him control the game from the inside out. Washington has to limit their turnovers and make the most of every possession. Arizona needs a second and third scorer to step up in the event the Huskies lock down on Williams.
UDubSports.com pick: Washington, 83-79.