Arizona Women's Basketball

No. 9 Arizona visits No. 4 Stanford for potential Pac-12 regular-season title

Arizona was afforded a couple of days of practice in the Bay area since outlasting last-place California on Friday afternoon to prepare for No. 4 Stanford on Monday night.

Adia Barnes hopes that is enough time for the Wildcats, who moved up one spot to No. 9 on Monday in the AP Top 25 poll, to get back on track in their seven-game winning streak.

Arizona beat previously winless Cal (which defeated ASU yesterday for its first win) but was taken to the last minute to do so in the 59-50 victory.

Pac-12 Women's Basketball Standings

TeamW-LPct. Ovr
Oregon State6-6.5008-6
Washington State8-10.44410-10
Arizona State 5-9.35710-9

“This is uncharted territory, and we aren’t there yet,” Barnes said, acknowledging the fact Arizona (15-2, 13-2 Pac-12) is in contention to win the Pac-12 title with one more week of scheduled games left in the regular season.

“I do understand and recognize there’s upsets all around the country,” Barnes continued. “I recognize that it’s very hard to play a team that hasn’t won in the Pac-12 because they’re hungry, and they’re playing with nothing to lose against No. 10.

“So I recognize that, but we control how we play in our effort and that wasn’t there. I’m not satisfied with that. Those are all controllable things that we will change. We will not do that (lack effort) on Monday (against Stanford).”

The game against the Cardinal (19-2, 17-2) at 7 p.m., Tucson time, is basically for the Pac-12 regular-season championship — unless Arizona is forced to make up a game this week if the Wildcats beat Stanford.

It will be televised on ESPN2 with Beth Mowins and Debbie Antonelli calling the action. The game will also be broadcast live on KTUC (1400-AM) with Arizona grad Derrick Palmer doing the play-by-play.

If Stanford wins, no games will likely have to be made up because it will have a two-game cushion (having swept the season series) over the Wildcats with Arizona’s only remaining scheduled game Sunday at ASU.

If Arizona wins, that will put the Wildcats ahead of Stanford in the loss column. However, Barnes’ team has played four less games than the Cardinal in the Pac-12 because of COVID-19 protocol. The conference may decide if Arizona wins to have the Wildcats make up games along with their scheduled meeting with the Sun Devils this week.

Tara VanDerveer and Stanford’s administration might also approve of no makeup games necessary and play for a Pac-12 tournament title and the NCAA tournament automatic bid instead of bicker over the regular-season title (provided Arizona wins against ASU if it beats Stanford tonight).

The Pac-12 tournament is scheduled to start next Wednesday (March 3) in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Center.

Aari McDonald has scored in double figures in 83 straight games, which leads the nation and spans her entire Arizona career (Arizona Athletics photo)

Arizona missed five games, four on the road against UCLA, USC, Oregon State and Washington and a home game against Colorado because of COVID-19.

Unless the conference moves back or cancels the Pac-12 tournament, both scenarios unlikely, Arizona will not be able to make up all five of the games in less than 10 days.

With UCLA losing to Oregon State yesterday, the Wildcats are two up in the loss column on the third-place Bruins (13-4, 11-4). If games are not made up, Arizona will likely be a No. 2 seed in the Pac-12 tournament, opposite Stanford, if the Wildcats fall short tonight.

If Arizona beats Stanford on Monday night, this would occur:

• The Wildcats will move into first place in the Pac-12 based on winning percentage.
• They will have beat Stanford on the road for the first time since 2001.
• They will have won two of the last three games against Stanford (dating to last February) for the first time since 2001
• They will have won 14 Pac-12 games for the first time since the 2003-04 season when they were co-champs with Stanford with a 14-4 record.
• They will have won at least 16 games for the third season in a row for the first time since 2001.

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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