The difference is Chase

Everyone keeps wondering what the reason behind the Wildcats' sudden turnover is. Is Russ Pennell suddenly a better coach? Is the bench finally developing? The freshmen growing up?

Everyone keeps wondering what the reason behind the Wildcats' sudden turnover is. Is Russ Pennell suddenly a better coach? Is the bench finally developing? The freshmen growing up?

None of the above. In fact, the bench is even worse now, especially with Jamelle Horne's consistent struggles.

So what is happening? Chase Budinger is happening.

After two and a half years of being mind blowingly (I know, new word) frustrating, Budinger finally realized how good he can be, and it's dramatically changed the team. Suddenly, Arizona can't lose, and it's all because Budinger is playing as well as anyone in the country.

Nothing disturbs him anymore. It used to be that Budinger would miss a shot and then his confidence would get down. Now, he misses a shot and hits the next one.

It used to be that he would go aggressive to the basket maybe once a game. Now he does it almost every time he touches the ball.

It used to be that he would almost never show emotion. Now, everything seems to fire him up.

The result? A five-game Arizona win streak and a Wildcats team that is on pace to make the NCAA tournament, assuming it can win a game this weekend.

Finally, Chase Budinger is becoming the player we all thought he could be.

You never thought you'd see the day, did you?

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