Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
Pregame: 6:30 p.m. on 1290 a.m. (Brad Allis, Pete Delgado, John Schuster, Ryan Radtke, Joe Nehls)
Postgame call-in show: 1290 a.m. approximately 30 minutes after the end of the game.
TV: FSNA (Dave Sitton/Bob Elliott)
On-Line: Arizona All Access (subscription required)
California at a glance: Location: Berkeley, CA
Coach: Ben Braun 9th year
Leading Scorer: Richard Midgley (14.8)
Leading Rebounder: Rod Benson (5.8)
Leading Assists: Martin Smith (4.1)
Last Meeting: Arizona defeated California 87-67.
Last Time Out: Arizona lost to Washington State 70-63. California defeated Oregon State 91-66.
OVERVIEW: Arizona enters this game following one of the worst home losses in school history to Washington State. Arizona had gained sole possession of first place in the Pac-10 race by defeating #10 Washington last Thursday. Arizona entered their game on Saturday with a lack of focus putting them back into a tie with Washington for first place. This game is an opportunity for the Cats to bounce back.
This is a must-win game for Arizona, as every game the rest of the way will be. In order for the UA to win the Pac-10 regular season championship, they will need to be near perfect the rest of the season. Since the 1986-87 campaign, Arizona is 259-26 in McKale. Cal however is a team that still has a chance to make a run for the NCAA tournament despite their eight losses. Like the Cats however they will need to be perfect the rest of the way.
The Golden Bears come into this game off a three game win streak, losing four straight prior. Cal has some stiff competition for the Cats beginning with junior guard Richard Midgley.
Midgley has been having a strong season averaging 14.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.3 steals a game. Midgley has strong support around him including Center Rod Benson. Benson has been leading the team in rebounds and has been averaging 13.3 points.
The Bears are bolstered by the return of sophomore point guard Ayinde Ubaka. Ubaka, a player Arizona recruited, is a major reason the Bears have rattled off the three straight.
KEY MATCH-UP: Channing Frye vs. Rod Benson. In order for the Cats to come away with the victory, Frye will need to be huge down low. Not only will his scoring ability be essential, but he will need to out rebound Benson who is averaging 5.8 rebounds.
Arizona's lack of pressure on the boards against Washington State was a determining factor in Arizona's loss. If they hope to win this game, they will have to win the battle of the boards, and that battle starts with Frye.
OUTLOOK: Arizona needs to come into the game focused and prepared, as we learned against Washington State. In addition, winning the rebounding battle will determine who wins and loses this game. Despite Cal's mediocre record, they have a strong team that has the ability to get the win if the Cats are not careful. A focused and intense Wildcat team should get the "W".