The Wildcats were the class of the conference through the non-conference schedule, ranked as high as No. 3 at one point early in the season, but since conference play began in January they have come back to earth and stumbled a bit. Frankly they should have lost a few more games then the six they have lost during their Pac 12 slate of games, ahem Colorado, but a mark of a good team is winning close games even when not playing their best.
For the most part Arizona has squeaked out close game they probably should have lost but at times they have looked disinterested and it has ended up hurting them, most notably their recent weekend in Los Angeles as they were swept by USC and UCLA. The Wildcats have too much talent to lose to the likes of USC. It’s unclear whether they have a confidence issue or just a lack of effort, especially on the road. Four of their losses have come on the road and in those losses they seem to be lost at times and lose their composure. Sure they are young but at this point in the season most of those mistakes should have been ironed out.
Now all Arizona can do is play for some pride, they are still the No. 18 team in the country, and work towards gaining some momentum heading into next week’s conference tournament in Las Vegas. To earn that momentum they will need to take care of rival Arizona State, a team they already handled easily this season, even on the road. Rivalry games often end up being closer than expected so the Wildcats will have to play their best to knock off the Sun Devils who will be looking for some revenge after their previous meeting.
Arizona can be as good as they want to be but they have to be willing to put in the work and effort to do that. At times that has been lacking this year but as the season winds down it’s safe to assume they will turn things up a notch.