Arizona Wildcats Slip Into Pac-10 Semis: Tough One Vs. USC Later Today

This edition of the Arizona Wildcats is unlikely to get too deep into the upcoming NCAA tournament--inexperience at the point guard position and other shortcomings surely will spell their doom, hopefully in the second weekend, not the first.

But it's an interesting and very watchable team, with all manner of three-point shooters eager at all times to unleash. Those mad bombers include superstar Derrick Williams, an inside force who also hit five of six treys during last night's difficult 78-69 win over Oregon State.

n all, the Cats hit 11 of 21 three-pointers during the Staples Center battle in a quarterfinal match-up in the Pac-10 tourney to finally pull away from the scrappy Beavers.

Tonight, though, a far more rigorous task awaits the Tucson bunch, as they face the USC Trojans in the semis. USC beat Arizona down the street in Los Angeles just a few weeks ago, and seems to be playing its best ball of the season now--the right time.  

The 7 p.m. game (to be televised on Channel 34, with a radio broadcast on 1100-AM) looms large for the Trojans and its Bubble-like hopes of getting into the Dance.

Look for Williams to shine tonight: USC held him to eight points in the last contest--his worst outing of the season--and totally shut him down. That is highly unlikely to happen again.

Related note: The late game between Washington and Washington State was a classic, with the Huskies coming out on top 87-85 in a slugfest that included a 43-point effort by the Cougars' Klay Thompson, a remarkable shooter

Thompson was coming off a one-game suspension after getting busted for marijuana possession. No matter--the dude was focused as a surgeon during the game, which kept us riveted to the tube until midnight.

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Paul Rubin
Contact: Paul Rubin