What makes the Oregon trip the most difficult in the nation is a coach must prepare for a second top 10 team with only a day in between. Somewhere in between, a team must travel, eat and sleep.
Not only is the watching of game film and drills intense with limited time, but the mindset of beating one of the best teams in the nation — No. 9 Oregon State — after losing by 33 points at No. 3 Oregon is as daunting as it gets from here to Connecticut.
In No. 12 Arizona’s favor: In the last two years, when Adia Barnes’ coaching has been matched with Aari McDonald’s playmaking and fortitude, the Wildcats have responded with eight wins after a loss. They have generally bounced back.
The longest losing streak in the last two seasons is four games last year, and in that stretch, Arizona lost in overtime at Cal after taking No. 7 Stanford to the last second and the Wildcats took Oregon State to double overtime at McKale Center after losing by 29 points against Oregon.
Working against Arizona: History. The Wildcats are 0-61 — 0-61 — against top 10 teams on the road. The program has only three wins against ranked teams on the road with a victory over No. 19 UCLA in the 2004-05 season as the most significant road upset.
The Wildcats (18-4, 7-4 Pac-12) get another shot to make history today when they play the Beavers (19-4, 7-4) at Gill Coliseum at 1 p.m. (Pac-12 Network/KTUC 1400-AM).
— Arizona looks to exact revenge at Oregon State after the Beavers won with one second on the clock at Arizona last month. Mikayla Pivec scored 17 points for the Beavers, including the game-winning basket with one second left.
— Arizona is one of four teams in the nation to have their only losses be to current top 10 teams (Baylor, UConn and Gonzaga are the others).
— Arizona is eighth the country in scoring defense (53.6 points allowed per game) and first in the Pac-12. The Wildcats have held all of their Pac-12 opponents under their scoring average.[table “57” not found /]
— Aari McDonald has scored in double-figures in 59straight games, the longest active streak in the nation. McDonald is eighth on the Arizona all-time scoring list. She is 11th in the country in scoring and leads the Pac-12 (20.5 points a game). McDonald also leads the Pac-12 in steals per game (2.7).
— Sam Thomas is looking to bounce back from a zero-point, zero-rebound game against Oregon. She is the only player in school history to have 100 career made 3-pointers and blocks. She is one of two current Pac-12 players with 100 career threes and blocks (Stephanie Watts of USC is the other). Thomas is second in the Pac-12 in career blocks among active players.
— Cate Reese had her seventh double-double of the season against USC last Sunday. She has already matched her double-double total from last season. Her 14 double-doubles in her career tie her with Margo Clark (1991-94).
Arizona Career Double-Double Leaders
Oregon State notables:
— The Beavers have been ranked in every USA Today/WBCA Coaches’ poll, dating back to the 2013-14 postseason rankings. Oregon State is one of four teams in the nation to be ranked every week over that period, joining UConn, Baylor, and Maryland.
— The NCAA Selection Committee placed Oregon State at No. 9 (Arizona is No. 13) in its first preliminary ranking on Monday. If the season ended on that date, the Beavers would be a 3-seed placed in the Fort Wayne Regional.
— The Beavers have not played a team with a losing record since facing Northern Arizona on Dec. 18.
— Oregon State is 160-35 since the start of the 2014-15 season, the seventh-best record in the nation over that span, trailing only UConn, Notre Dame, Baylor, Maryland, South Carolina and Louisville.
— Last season was the sixth-straight season the Beavers have made the NCAA Tournament. The Beavers have won 13 Tournament games over that span. The Beavers are one of eight teams in the nation to make the Sweet 16 in each of the last four seasons, joining UConn, South Carolina, Notre Dame, Baylor, Stanford, UCLA and Mississippi State.
— The Beavers’ five highest win totals have all come over the last five seasons (27 in 2014-15, 32 in 2015-16, 31 in 2016-17, 26 in 2017-18, 26 in 2018-19).
–The Beavers have earned 10 wins over top 10 opponents since the start of 2014-15.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com 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 CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, 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.