It’s finally here. No more countdowns or trying to jump past other games to get to this one. The Pac-12 conference’s premiere rematch between No.7 Arizona and No.13 is finally at our feet.
The question now is: Will the Utes take revenge after being silenced the first time around?
Utah was on a roll when teams met down in Tuscon back on January 17. Arizona stifled the Utes using their home court advantage — they really do play better at McKale Center than anywhere else — in an exciting back-and-forth match that led to AZ’s 69-51 victory. The tables could be turned this time however as the face off moves to Salt Lake City, where the Utes hold an astounding 16-0 record at Jon M. Huntsman Center. (A full home sweep would make Utah undefeated on its home turf for the first time since the 2004-2005 season.) They’ll be hungry for a win on Saturday, with an extra confidence boost from the 83-41 smackdown they put on ASU on Thursday.
Not that Arizona is going to go quietly, in search of win number 26 on the season. After losing their first bout in February to ASU, the ‘cats took four of their last five tilts into victories scoring 80+ points. Granted they are no stranger to turnovers and foul trouble which almost cost them in the bizarre 57-47 bout with UCLA on the 21st, but Arizona righted the ship in with whooping of their own this week in the form of an 82-54 win over Colorado.
Aside from the excitement at the rematch, if both teams keep their play clean this could be an incredibly high-scoring rout. Utah’s Delon Wright is firing on all cylinders while Arizona’s big names got a bit of R&R during the tilt with the Buffaloes and will be well rested for this game.
Just tell your friends you will be meeting them at the bar a little late Saturday night. If this Pac-12 matchup is anywhere near as good as the first meet-up, you will be kicking yourself all the way through tournament play if you miss it.
Tip off for the Wildcats visit with the Utes is scheduled for 6pm Pacific time.
*Section Photo credit to Ethan Miller, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Russ Isabella, USA Today Sports