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01-14-2008 Stanford Notes
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 01/14/2008
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Coming Up:

The Arizona womenˇ?s basketball team (6-10, 0-5 Pac-10) continues its season-long three-game home stand by hosting No. 7 Stanford on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. in McKale Center.? The Wildcats are looking to end a season-long six-game losing skid, and beat the Cardinal for the first time in 10 tries.

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Catch the Action:

As always, Arizona women's basketball games can be heard live on KTUC AM 1400, with Derrick Palmer and Shannon Hobson calling the action from courtside.? Please visit www.arizonaathletics.com for all of your live stats and live video needs.

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Joan Bonvicini Coachˇ?s Show:

Hosted by Wildcat radio announcer Derrick Palmer, the Joan Bonvicini Coachˇ?s Show is broadcast live from 6-7 p.m. every Monday on KTUC 1400 AM and is held at the Varsity Clubs of America, located at Speedway and Alvernon. The show features Bonvicini with several special guests, ranging from players to staff members.

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Arizona State Recap:

Arizona Stateˇ?s Briann January did not miss a shot en route to 19 points, while Lauren Lacey had 11 of her 15 points in the second half of a 75-65 victory over Arizona on Saturday.

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January went 7-for-7 from the field, including a trio of threeˇ?s, while also converting a pair of free throw attempts.

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ASU (11-5, 5-0), off to its best Pac-10 start ever, also got 13 points from Sybil Dosty, who made all six of her field goal tries for a Sun Devil club that shot 54 percent from the field for the game.

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Arizona (6-10, 0-5) was led by the career-high 25 points of Amina Njonkou. The Wildcats also had 20 points from Ashley Whisonant in their sixth straight loss.

Laceyˇ?s short jumper, followed by a Dymond Simonˇ?s15-footer gave ASU a

71-58 lead with 5:28 left to put a halt to an Arizona rally.

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Lacey had a put-back, a key three-pointer and a series of free throws to score 11 points during a five minute run, starting with a jumper to go ahead 58-50 with 10:48 remaining.

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Whisonant, who made 10 of 13 field goal attempts, nailed a jumper to close to within 60-56 with 8:38 remaining, but it was not enough with Lacey taking control inside the paint.

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January hit a 14-foot jumper to end an Arizona 10-point run that trimmed the Sun Devilsˇ? lead to 54-50 with 12:08 left.

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The Wildcats had climbed their way back starting with a lay-up by Tasha Dickey and ending with a pair of Rheya Neabors free throws to get Arizona within four.

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Arizona scored the first six points of the second half only to see ASU respond by going on a 10-0 spurt to go ahead 50-34 with 16:49 left. Dosty had a three-point play in the spurt, while Jill Noe connected on a three-pointer to key the run.

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January scored the final eight ASU points, including a pair of three pointers and a lay-in at the buzzer, to give the Sun Devils a 40-28 lead at halftime. She made all six of her field goals at the break.

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About the Cardinal:

The No. 7 Stanford University Cardinal enters Thursdayˇ?s game with a 14-3 overall record and a 4-2 mark in the Pac-10.? Stanford is 4-2 on the road so far this season, and 0-2 on the road in Pac-10 play.? As a team, the Cardinal shoots 45.3 percent from the field, 28.6 percent from three-point range and 70.2 percent from the free throw line.? Individually for Stanford, Candice Wiggins leads the way with 17.5 points a game, and Jayne Appel adds 15.6 points and 8.3 rebounds a game.? ? Head coach Tara VanDerveer is in her 22nd season at the helm of the Stanford program.

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Series Notes:

Thursdayˇ?s game will be the 58th meeting all-time between the Wildcats and the Cardinal on the hardwood, with Stanford owning a 45-12 series advantage.? Stanford has won nine-consecutive games in the series, including three wins over UA last season.? The Wildcats last defeated the Cardinal, 88-83, on Feb. 5, 2004 in McKale Center.

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The Newest Wildcat:

The Arizona womenˇ?s basketball team added walk-on Ashley Gilpin to its roster, head coach Joan Bonvicini announced Jan. 11.?

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Gilpin, a senior from Las Cruces, N.M., is a 5-foot-9 guard currently studying psychology at the UA.? She hails from Mayfield HS, the same high school current Wildcat Marie McGee attended, and where the two were teammates.

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Revenge on the Nerds:

Since Arizonaˇ?s last win over Stanford nearly four years ago, the last nine games against the Cardinal have not always been close.? Stanford has won the last nine games against Arizona by an average of 16.7 points.

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vs. Ranked Teams:

Two more ranked teams come calling this week as Arizona will face No. 7 Stanford and No. 8 California in consecutive games after playing No. 25 Arizona State on Saturday.? So far this season, Arizona is 0-2 against ranked teams, losing to No. 20 Pitt (81-58) and the Sun Devils (75-65). Over the last three seasons, the Wildcats are 0-21 against ranked opponents, going 0-12 against ranked teams last year.? Arizonaˇ?s last win against a ranked team was its 88-83 win over the Cardinal on Feb. 5, 2004.

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Welcome Home:

Arizona is finally back home in McKale Center, and is in the midst season-long three game home stand.? The Wildcats have been racking up those frequent flyer miles so far this season, playing nine of their first 15 games on the road.? With trips Oregon, Green Bay, Wis., Penn State, NC State, Long Beach, Calif., and New Mexico under their belts, the Wildcats have already racked up a grand total of 16,482 round trip miles (and it is only January).? Weˇ?ll keep you posted on when the Wildcats earn their free round trip to anywhere in the United States.

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Arizona Head Coach Joan Bonvicini (17th season):

The winningest coach in Arizona women's basketball history, Joan Bonvicini has taken the Wildcat program from obscurity into the national limelight. In her 17 seasons at the helm, Bonvicini has guided the Wildcats to nine postseason appearances, including seven NCAA Tournament berths and a WNIT Championship.? Under Bonvicini's tutelage, the Wildcats have finished in the upper tier of the Pac-10 in nine of the last 11 years, and in 2003-04 won a share of the conference regular-season title for the first time in school history.

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During this time, Arizona has been nationally ranked multiple times, including a best ever ranking of No. 7 in 1998.? Bonvicini's success is mirrored in her players' accolades. She has produced one All-American, five honorable mention All-America selections, a Pac-10 Player of the Year, three Pac-10 Freshmen of the Year, 22 All-Pac-10 honorees, 17 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team choices and 18 Academic All-Pac-10 selections. Bonvicini holds a 283-213 (.571) mark at Arizona and is 608-284(.681) in 29 years as a head coach. On Feb. 8, 2007, Bonvicini became the 18th coach in NCAA Division I women's basketball history to reach the 600 win milestone with a 65-61 victory over Oregon State in McKale Center. She has a career record of 24-17 in NCAA Tournament play and has lost just two first-round games in 17 tourney appearances.

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Road Warriors:

With a wins against Long Beach State and New Mexico, the Wildcats managed to win two-straight road games for the first time since the 2004-05 season.? Arizona last won two-straight on the road in December of 2004 with wins at Chicago State and Washington.?

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Pit This:

Arizona went into New Mexicoˇ?s Pit and did something most visiting teams canˇ?t do: win.? The Wildcats snapped the Lobosˇ? 13-game home winning streak with their 44-36 win, as New Mexico was 7-0 on the season before Saturdayˇ?s game.

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Slow Starts:

Through 16 games, Arizona is getting outscored 546-452 by opponents in the first half, and is 3-9 when trailing at the half.? When leading at the half, Arizona is 3-1, as the Wildcats relinquished their first halftime lead at Oregon State after being up by 12 at halftime and leading by as many as 16 points in the second half.? In its last game, Arizona was down 40-28 to Arizona State at halftime in its last game, but outscored the Sun Devils 37-35 in the second half.

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Almost History:

Arizonaˇ?s 44-36 win over New Mexico came very close to some intriguing historical proportions.? Arizonaˇ?s 44 points in the win was the programˇ?s lowest point total in a victory since beating Utah, 46-36, on Jan. 17 1974.? Arizonaˇ?s school low for a point total in a win is 36 in a win (36-30) over Northern Arizona on Feb. 10, 1973.

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Toe That Line:

So far, the Wildcats have shown an ability as a team to get to the free throw line.? Arizona has made it to the line 317 times (19.8 free throw attempts per game), but is only shooting 64 percent (203-317) from the charity stripe.? Opponents are shooting 72.3 percent (209-289) from the line against the Cats.

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Make Those Free Throws:

Free throw shooting has been a major factor in Arizonaˇ?s ability to win games.? In the Wildcatsˇ? loss against USC, Arizona shot 17-of-29 from the line (58.6 percent) against the Women of Troy, including a 13-of-23 (56.5 percent) mark in the second half.? Poor shooting from the line kept Arizona from making legitimate comeback attempt at the end of the game, as the Wildcats scored five-straight points in the final 22 seconds of the game to cut the deficit to seven points.? Against UCLA, Arizona shot 19-of-29 from the line (65.5 percent) against the Bruins, including an 11-of-18 mark (61.1 percent).? Even though the 19 free throws were the second most for the Wildcats on the season, not being able to hit free throws in the second half prevented another comeback attempt, as Arizona cut the deficit to six points with 33 seconds to play in the game.

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Despite playing with six players, and with four players down the stretch, Arizona could have held off an OSU comeback had it hit its shots at the line.? The Wildcats shot a season-low 47.4 percent (9-of-19) from the free throw line against the Beavers, including a 3-of-7 mark in the first half, and a 3-of-8 mark in overtime.

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Against Oregon, the Wildcats erased a 16-point second half deficit and trailed 56-53 with 1:10 left to play, but shot 12-of-20 (60 percent) from the charity stripe.

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Itˇ?s an Improvement:

Against Arizona State, the Wildcats shot a solid 72.7 percent (16-22) from the free throw line.? That is a vast improvement on Arizonaˇ?s free throw shooting in the previous three games, as the Wildcats posted a 58.8 percent mark (57-of-97) from the free throw line over that span.? Arizona State, on the other end, was a perfect 16-of-16 from the charity strip against the Wildcats.

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Three-out of-Five:

Arizona played some pretty good defense against Arizona State, but the Wildcats just couldnˇ?t seem to stop two Sun Devils, Sybil Dosty and Briann January.? Dosty and January combined for 32 points on a perfect 13-of-13 mark from the field on Saturday.? The rest of the Sun Devils combined to shoot 14-of-37 from the floor, or 37.9 percent, against Arizona.

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What do you know about Pressure?:

Arizona can put on some pressure defense, and opponents have shown they canˇ?t handle it.? Through 16 games, Arizona has forced 333 turnovers on the opposition, which equates to an average of 20.8 turnovers a game.? Arizona forced 20 turnovers on Arizona State, scoring 24 points off of those blunders.

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Ball Thieves:

The Wildcats have shown they can scratch at opponents, posting 146 steals so far on the season for a 9.1 steals per game average.? Arizona ranks fourth in the Pac-10 in the steals department, collecting nine steals against Arizona State on Saturday.

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Rejectmuch:

Last season, Arizona tallied 51 blocked shots the entire season.? This year, it is a different story.? The Wildcats surpassed last yearˇ?s total in 15 games with 53 blocks, and owns 57 blocks in 16 games.? Arizona ranks second in the Pac-10 in the blocks department behind Stanford.? A big reason for the complete 180 when it comes to blocks has to do with junior Beatrice Bofia and her 18 blocks shots so far this season.? Sophomore Marie McGee is second on the team with 10 blocked shots.? Arizona has posted four blocks or more in six games so far this season, including the last three straight, and is averaging seven blocks a game in the last three contests.

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Paint Job:

So far, Arizona has been doing a solid job scoring in the paint.? Through 16 games, the Wildcats have posted 563 points in the paint, which accounts for 53.7 percent of the teamˇ?s point production (1048), and average 35.2 points per game down low.? In its last nine games, Arizona has outscored the opposition 311-232 in the paint.

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AW Leads the Way:

Senior guard Ashley Whisonant has been counted on to lead at the point this season, and she has flourished in that position.? So far, Whisonant has played at an All-Pac-10 level.? The Bowie, Md., native is averaging a team-high 16.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists a game while snagging 1.9 steals a contest.? She is also averaging a team-high 37.3 minutes per contest.? Whisonant ranks fourth in the Pac-10 in scoring average, third in assists per game, seventh in steals per game, and first in minutes per game.?

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Pac-10ˇ?s Best:

In Pac-10 play, Whisonant has been tearing it up.? Through five Pac-10 contests, Whisonant is averaging a league-best 19.2 points a game in 39.6 minutes of action.? Junior Amina Njonkou is the Pac-10ˇ?s leading rebounder with 9.4 rebounds a game in league play, and junior Beatrice Bofia leads with 2.2 blocks a game in Pac-10 play.

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Game of a Lifetime:

Ashley Whisonant showed why she is one of the best players in the Pac-10 last Thursday against the Beavers.? Whisonant led a team of just six players with a career-high 34 points in 48 minutes of action.? Her 34 points is the fourth-best mark in school history, one point shy of the all-time school record (35 points).? She tied a school record with 15 field goal attempts, and set a new school record with 29 field goal attempts.? She followed that performance up with 17 points and seven rebounds against Oregon, and had 20 points against Arizona State.

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All-Time Scorer:?

Ashley Whisonant scored her 1,000th career point in the final game of the season last year, and look for her to climb up the Arizona all-time point leader list this season.? With 76 points in the first three games, Whisonant moved past Kim Conway (1,060 points, 1990-94) for the No. 13 spot on the all-time scoring list.? Now standing at 1,181 career points (104 games), Whisonantˇ?s eight points against New Mexico allowed her to pass Yolanda Turner (1984-87) in the No. 12 position, and passed former teammate Natalie Jones (1,149 points, 2003-06) for sole possession the No. 11 spot.? With 34 points against OSU, Whisonant passed Lisa Griffith (1,199 points, 1997-2000) for the No. 10 spot in school history.? With 17 points on Saturday against Oregon, Whisonant passed former Wildcat Amy Gryzb (1,227 points, 2000-04) for ninth all-time with 1,240 career points.? Her 20 points tied her with Reshea Bristol (1998-2001, 1,260 points) for eighth all-time, as she enters Thursdayˇ?s game with 1,260 career points in 109 games (11.6 ppg).

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Ms. 100:

Senior Ashley Whisonant has been a constant in the Arizona lineup ever since her freshman season, and she is one pace to be one of Arizonaˇ?s all-time leaders in games played.? She played in her 100th career game against NAU (Dec. 6), and is on pace to finish her career with 123 games played, a figure that will rank No. 3 all-time in school history.

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Looking For a Dime:

With each dime Ashley Whisonant dishes out, she is moving to the top of the line on Arizonaˇ?s all-time career assists list.? With 338 career assists, Whisonant is now the No. 10 assists disher in Arizona history.? She needs 10 more to tie Aimee Grzyb (2001-04, 348 assists) for No. 9 all-time.

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Ms. Wildcat:

Freshman Tasha Dickey, simply put, was born to be a Wildcat.? The daughter of two former Arizona athletes, Dickey has shown her tremendous athletic ability on the court.? On the season, she is averaging 7.3 points and 1.9 rebounds a game in 22.5 minutes of action.? Dickey is also second on the squad with 24 steals.? Against UCLA, Dickey posted 13 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field, including a 2-of-3 mark from three point range in just 18 minutes of action, and finished with 12 points and three steals against Oregon State.? Against Oregon, Dickey posted eight points, including a 2-of-4 mark from three point land.? She finished with eight points against ASU in her last outing.? In Pac-10 play, Dickey posts 8.6 points a game.

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Stepping Up her Game:

Sophomore Marie McGee is playing a more vital role in the Arizona lineup this season, as the Las Cruces, N.M., native has broken into the starting lineup.? Against Oregon State, McGee was all over the floor, doing the little things to help Arizona win.? She finished with nine points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field, three rebounds, three assists, a career-high three blocks and two steals.? On the season, McGee is averaging 5.1 points and 2.6 rebounds a game in 23.3 minutes of action per contest.?

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Amina the Bull:

Junior forward Amina Njonkou is a force down low in the paint, and her strength allows her to bull over defenders.? The 6-foot-1 Cameroon native has posted double-figures in points in the last 10-straight games including double-doubles in the last five of the last seven games.? Over the last 10 contests, Njonkou is averaging 15.3 points and 8.8 rebounds a game over that span.? In the last seven games, Njonkou is posting 17 points and 9.9 rebounds a game.?

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In her last outing, Njonkou finished with a career-best 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field and a 9-of-11 mark from the free throw line to go with five boards.

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On the season, Njonkou is posting 13.2 points and 7.2 rebounds a game while shooting 49.3 percent (73-148) from the field, the eighth-best mark in the Pac-10.? In Pac-10 play, Njonkou is averaging 17.4 points and 9.4 rebounds a game.

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Double-Double Machine:

Before her 17 point and nine rebound performance against Oregon State, Amina Njonkou had posted double-doubles four straight games, putting her in some very exclusive company in the Arizona history books.? Njonkou became the first player to record four-straight double-doubles since Shawntinice Polk posted five-straight double-doubles during the 2003-04 season (Feb. 7-19).? Njonkou has seven double-doubles so far on the season after finishing with 11 points and 10 boards against Oregon on Jan. 5.

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Queen B:

Junior Beatrice Bofia earned her first career start against Oregon State and she responded with a career night.? The 6-foot-7 center finished with her second double-double with career-highs of 10 points, 18 rebounds and five blocked shots in 45 minutes of action.? Her 18 rebounds were the fourth-most in school history, and her five blocks is the highest total for a Wildcat since 2004.? She followed that up with a career-high 11 points to go with eight rebounds and four blocks against Oregon.? In Pac-10 play, Bofia is averaging 4.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and a Pac-10 best 2.2 blocks per game.

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Cats Picked To Finish Eighth in the Pac-10:

The University of Arizona womenˇ?s basketball team was selected to finish eighth in the Pac-10 Conference in a preseason vote by the conferenceˇ?s head coaches.? The Wildcats garnered 31 points in the poll, as seven-time defending Pac-10 champion Stanford was chosen as the favorite to win this yearˇ?s Pac-10 title.

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The Cardinal received eight of 10 first-place votes and 79 points, as Arizona State received a first-place nod and tallied 71 points to place second. California was tabbed to finish third with a first-place vote and 68 points, followed by fourth-place USC with 56 points and fifth-place UCLA with 44 points. Washington grabbed 41 points to place sixth, followed by Oregon (34), as Arizona (31), Oregon State (16) and Washington State (10) rounded out the poll.

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Tough Schedule:

Year in and year out, Arizona never runs away from a challenge, but rather takes on the best teams in the nation head on during the nonconference schedule before playing in the always daunting Pac-10 Conference.

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The Wildcats will play 29 games during 2007-08, 13 games in McKale Center and 16 on the road, with 14 games scheduled against teams that competed in the NCAA Tournament last year.

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The UA will take on 10 teams that competed in the 2007 NCAA Tournament, with non-conference matchups against Middle Tennessee State, Pittsburgh, Boise State, New Mexico, NC State, and UW-Green Bay, along with Pac-10 series against California, Stanford, Washington and Arizona State.

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Rank This:

Arizonaˇ?s tough schedule is apparent when you take a look at this yearˇ?s preseason rankings.? In the WBCA/USA Today/ESPN and AP Preseason poll, five of the top 25 teams in the nation will play the Wildcats during the regular season.? Arizona will face No. 9 Stanford, No. 12 Arizona State, No. 14 California, No. 21 Pittsburgh and No. 25 NC State.? Additionally, six other Arizona opponents (Middle Tennessee, USC, New Mexico, UCLA, Boise State and Wisconsin-Green Bay) each received votes in the poll.

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Up Next:

Arizona will host No. 8 California on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 2 p.m. in McKale Center.? The game will be televised live on Fox Sports Net.

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