Nothing better than a Friday night in Tucson in January. On Jan. 7, it means finally seeing the No. 4 women’s basketball team in the country get back on the court. It also means seeing the best player to ever wear the jersey of Arizona women’s basketball return to McKale Center to be honored.
#LeaveALegacy is one of the hashtags that adorns everything from t-shirts to tweets. Former Arizona star Aari McDonald certainly did. It wasn’t just by writing her name all over the record books. It was about how she did it, both as a Wildcat and as a professional.
Not long after her final shot had clanked off the iron, falling a point short of giving her team its first national title in program history, McDonald was in front of the media. The tears still on her face, she answered the questions that are always so difficult for a senior who knows that she came up just short on the biggest stage and will never get another chance.
It wouldn't be long until her next big achievement: getting drafted No. 3 in the 2021 WNBA Draft. It also wouldn't be long until she was once again facing difficult questions. Her organization was in disarray and she wasn’t getting on the court much. Sometimes, she wasn’t getting on the court at all, as with the time when her coach told the media that he forgot to put her in the game.
Washington State (9-4, 1-1 Pac-12) @ Arizona (10-0, 0-0 Pac-12)
When and where: The game will tip off at 6 p.m. MST at McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz.
How to watch: The game will be aired on Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Washington.
How to listen: The radio call by Brody Dryden will be on 1400 AM (KTUC). The broadcast can also be accessed online at The Varsity Network or on the station’s website.
Where to find stats: Live stats during the game can be found at Arizona Live Stats.
Rankings and ratings: Arizona is ranked No. 4 by the Associated Press and No. 5 by the WBCA/USA TODAY Sports polls. The Wildcats received three first-place votes in the media poll and one in the coaches’ poll. The team is No. 6 in the NET and No. 7 in the rankings of Her Hoop Stats.
Washington State is not ranked in either poll nor is it receiving votes. The Cougars are No. 76 in NET and No. 81 according to Her Hoop Stats.
Projections and Odds: Her Hoop Stats gives Arizona a 94.4 percent win probability at home with a projected winning margin of 17.7 points. Bovada has the Wildcats as the 14.5-point favorite.
How to follow: Follow us on Twitter @AZDesertSwarm or on our Facebook page for regular coverage during the week. For live tweets during games and other coverage, follow our deputy editor on Twitter @KimDoss71.
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- Aari McDonald to be inducted into Ring of Honor on Jan. 7
- Arizona’s game against Washington on Jan. 9 postponed due to COVID-19 within the Huskies’ program
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- Jan. 2 game between Arizona and USC postponed due to COVID-19 protocols within the Women of Troy’s program