Arizona (19-12) vs. No. 23 Arizona State (22-8), noon, FS West -- A victory might give Arizona its 25th consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament, the longest such streak in the nation. The Wildcats, the fifth-seeded team, have had their way with Arizona State this season, winning both games. Arizona has lost four of its last five overall. Arizona State, the fourth-seeded team, was zeroing in on a conference championship, then lost in overtime to Washington and Washington State. Sophomore guard James Harden, the conference player of the year, is a lock first-round NBA pick if, as expected, he enters the draft.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday, March 13, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 National Desk 1 inches; 38 words Type of Material: Correction
College basketball: A chart on Thursday's games of the Pacific 10 Conference men's basketball tournament said that Arizona had defeated Arizona State both times the schools played in the regular season. Arizona State won both of those games.
Stanford (18-12) vs. No. 13 Washington (24-7), about 2:30 p.m., FS West -- Who even remembers that top-seeded Washington lost to Portland in the second game of the season? The Huskies were picked to finish fifth in the conference, but a higher opinion of the Huskies emerged once everyone got a look at 5-foot-8 freshman point guard Isaiah Thomas. He meshed well with senior center Jon Brockman and senior guard Justin Dentmon, both all-conference selections. Stanford guard Anthony Good is a clutch scorer and center Lawrence Hill is effective in the post. Stanford, which is seeded ninth, lost three one-point games on the road, but also beat Arizona State in Tempe and had home wins over Cal and Arizona.
-- Chris Foster
Player to watch:
JORDAN HILL, ARIZONA
When it comes to Arizona, most of the publicity goes to forward Chase Budinger. But his frontcourt mate, Jordan Hill, creates even more concern among Pac-10 opponents.
Hill finished the regular season averaging 18.5 points and 11 rebounds, second-best in the conference in both categories. An athletic 6 feet 10 and 235 pounds, he also blocked six shots in the Wildcats' early-season victory over San Diego State.
Those numbers were good enough to place him beside Budinger on the All-Pac-10 team, despite that Hill has been playing with a sore ankle.
"Jordan has been a warrior all season," Arizona interim Coach Russ Pennell said.
UCLA Coach Ben Howland calls him a "monster" and predicts that when he turns pro he will be an NBA lottery pick.
-- David Wharton