The last time the Arizona Wildcats were in the Honda Center in Ahaheim, Calif., Kemba Walker and company were stomped on their Final Four dreams. Against the UCLA Bruins at 9 p.m. MST at the venue that saw the Wildcats get back the Duke Blue Devils for the 2001 national championship game, the Wildcats get back on the winning track against a team that throttled them in the last game at the old Pauley Paviolion in the two teams' last meeting.
It was probably the worst game Arizona played last season -- I suppose getting smashed by BYU and Jimmer Fredette was on par with it as well -- but it was also a humbling tipping point that saw the Wildcat finish the regular season with a focus that bled into the Pac-10 Tournament and the NCAA tourney, too.
It won't be easy, and the uphill battle for the Wildcats starts and ends with match-up problems.
How will Sean Miller's small-ball crew deal with talented big man Joshua Smith along with the Wear twins? Can they deal with Lazeric Jones on the perimeter?
While the Bruins have lost their last two and are a disappointing 7-7 on the year (not to mention have dealt with internal issues like the dismissal of Reeves Nelson) the Wildcats will be in a battle.