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Preview: Arizona can move up the Pac-12 ladder with a win at Stanford, Mayes x-rayed

Time: 1 p.m. MST


The Arizona Wildcats operate in spurts. Whether it was finding themselves down by 13 in less than 10 minutes of play to begin a contest against Cal, or a 30-8 spurt to end the half up by 11, Sean Miller's team doesn't do much by the book.

You don't know which team will show up or for how long, but of course it'd be a positive sign for the Wildcats should the latter face make an appearance for 40 minutes against the Stanford Cardinal today.

Sitting at 16-6 overall and 6-4 in the Pac-12, the Cardinal are tied with the 15-8 Wildcats in the standing. Both are two games back of the sole Pac-12 leader, Washington, and the games against the teams tied with them and above them become all the more monumental.

Many don't believe this is a single bid league, and most of that stems from a likelihood that the winner of the regular season won't be the winner of the Pac-12 Tournament. That means, should the conference gets a fair shake, perhaps it's a three-bid league only if the runner up in the conference isn't a winner of the tournament.

Gunning for that No. 2 spot is key, and Stanford and Arizona both have a shot at it.

The Cardinal are led by 6-foot-8, 230-pound senior Josh Owens and his 12.7 point and 6.2 rebounds per game. Though not blow-away statistics, the Cardinal and coach Johnny Dawkins run out a deep rotation of 10 players that average 10 or more minutes per game.

Like they did against Cal, the Wildcats aren't at a grave disadvantage from an athleticism standpoint. Where the Washington Huskies had skill, length and speed on their side, Arizona has shown that it can hold its own against well-executing teams rather than free-flowing, athletic ones.

Stanford fits that bill. If the Wildcats show up playing with their hair on fire, it'll be a good sign they could start a run at that coveted No. 2 spot in the conference.

Mayes X-rays positive, but no assurance it's not a break

Jordin Mayes underwent x-rays that showed no break on Friday, according to Bruce Pascoe. That said, the backup point guard will not suit upon against Stanford.

"Because that's the foot that he broke and he has a screw in it, and he has some pain, we're going to proceed with caution," UA coach Sean Miller told the Star today, when the Wildcats arrived at their team hotel after leaving Berkeley. "He doesn't have additional swelling, and he actually says he feels a little better this morning than he did when he hurt it which is a great sign."