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Game Preview & Open Thread: UCLA at Arizona


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UCLA Bruins @ Arizona Wildcats

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009, 10:00 AM PST
McKale Center * Tucson, AZ
Television: CBS

Complete Coverage >


Yeah, yeah: Back on January 15th UCLA thumped the 'Cats by 23 at Pauley Pavilion. But let's be honest -- that was a long time ago. Like, back before I launched this blog and Arizona began on its current six-game winning streak.

So, key to the game number one? Launch AZ Desert Swarm. Check.

What else?

1. Ball. Control. Perfection. We're used to UCLA punishing Pac 10 opponents with size and strength, but they're thriving this year as a lightning quick, ball denying, turnover-creating squad. It effects both ends of the floor; UCLA's half court offense is good, but they're clearly at their best when they can create offense off of defense.

2. Perimeter lockdown. The Bruins hit seven three pointers in beating the 'Cats by 23 a month ago. If Shipp, Holiday, Collison, and Roll are given room to fire, they can make defenses pay dearly. The Cats should do what they can to make UCLA work the paint for points.

3. Juniors on the floor. Keeping Hill, Buddinger, and Wise out of foul trouble and on the floor together for most of the game is certainly important. If one or more of them has to sit with foul issues for extended period of time, it could be a tough afternoon. If all three play 32+ minutes, the 'Cats could win their seventh straight. Let's do it!