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UW at Arizona: Huskies Try To Move Closer To First In The Pac-10

With the Washington Huskies two games behind the first-place Arizona Wildcats in the Pac-10, they can't take first place in today's 3 p.m. game in Tuscon.

Yet perhaps it goes without saying that today's game might be the most significant of the season with three conference games to go after this one - with a win, the Huskies can move within one game of Wildcats and remain within striking distance.

And in addition to the challenge that playing on the road against a strong team presents, Arizona has only gotten better since they lost 85-68 to UW at Hec Ed on January 20.

Wazzu vanquished, Cats win 7th in a row 79-70 - Arizona Desert Swarm
...young teams can still grow up quite a bit throughout the season. I suspect that is what we're seeing with our Wildcats. The turnovers are coming down, the defensive consistency is starting to manifest itself as the season goes along. We're also seeing that the Cats are more than willing to share the load and the spotlight. It isn't that Derrick Williams isn't out best player, he is. The development is that any of the other players can step up at any time and be a viable scoring threat. The biggest question is who will it be.

However the question for Arizona will be about their point guard play, more importantly how they handle Washington's pressure, and most importantly how intense and consistent the Huskies' pressure is.

In that first meeting, UW used outstanding defense on the perimeter to frustrate limit the guards' assist opportunities and on Derrick Williams to "limit" him to 22 points that came mostly on garbage points. Williams is good enough that they likely won't be able to neutralize him in the same way, but it is likely that UW's defense will be a key once again.