For the first time during the pandemic, Arizona women’s basketball will play a rescheduled game. Last season, the Wildcats had five games postponed. None were ever played. In fact, there were 18 postponements involving the top four Pac-12 teams but just one was made up.
This season, the question is whether teams will step up and reschedule—especially if they miss games against the top competition. There have been some rumblings that at least some coaches weren’t open to doing so.
“I’m in complete favor of rescheduling,” Barnes said. “We want to play games. I don’t want my team sitting here for almost a month not playing. So, absolutely, I’ve been doing everything I can. We were ready to play last week. It wasn’t shut down because of Arizona. We shut down because of other teams. So most definitely trying to make up a game. I think the challenge is, is everybody else able and willing to make up the game?...Stuff happens. COVID is not fair. It’s happened (to us) when we were in Vegas getting ready to play Texas. But I think that part of (the challenge) is just the people in the programs (not) wanting to make up the game, and I think that puts the Pac-12 in a difficult situation.”
To her credit, new USC head coach Lindsay Gottlieb is leading the way in rescheduling games. All of the rescheduled Pac-12 games this season have involved the Women of Troy.
When UCLA and USC were unable to play their game on Dec. 28, the teams immediately moved their rivalry games to the same week so that they could play both of them. It was something that UCLA desperately needed since the Bruins played just eight games in nonconference play. They need to play at least 17 games in the conference regular season and tournament to qualify for NCAA Tournament selection.
Washington pulled out of its Jan. 9 game against Arizona back on Jan. 3. USC again stepped up to the plate and rescheduled its game against the Wildcats. For Arizona, it meant substituting a road game for a home game this week. That may not be optimal for an Arizona team that has played just six home games all year, but Barnes thinks her team is up to it despite having only one game under their belts in the past 21 days.
“We have a good team,” she said. “We have depth. We’re not afraid to play anybody in the country.”
No. 4 Arizona Wildcats (11-0, 1-0) @ USC Women of Troy (7-4, 0-1)
When and where: The game will tip off at the Galen Center in Los Angeles, Calif. at 4 p.m. MST on Sunday, Jan. 9.
How to watch: The game will not be televised, but it will be available on USC Live Stream.
Where to find in-game stats: During the game, stats will be available at USC 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.
USC is not ranked in either major poll. The Women of Troy are No. 68 in the NET and No. 106 according to Her Hoop Stats.
Projections: Her Hoop Stats sets Arizona’s win probability at 88.6 percent with the game set to be played on USC’s home court. Had it been scheduled for Arizona, the Wildcats’ win probability would be 95.8 percent.
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