Saturday will mark the first time two Pac-12 programs, both ranked in the top five nationally, will meet since the 2007-08 season. Then No. 5 UCLA defeated then No. 4 Washington State 81-74 in Los Angeles. The Arizona-UCLA match-up is just the seventh time in league history two top-five teams have met within the conference.
The Wildcats started their week with a 13-point victory over USC on Thursday evening. Allonzo Trier scored a game-high 25 points on an efficient 7 of 11 (.636) from the field. It was Trier's third game of 20 or more points in his last five outings. The sophomore's 25-point outing also matched his career conference-high in scoring after scoring 25 at USC last season. Arizona shot 11 of 20 (.550) from beyond the arc as a team. Parker Jackson-Cartwright tallied ten points, three rebounds, five assists and two steals in the win.
Arizona's final home game of the season will also see McKale Center host ESPN College GameDay for a third time in the building's history. It's the sixth time the Wildcats have been featured on GameDay with the last time coming for UA's 57-47 victory over UCLA in Tucson on Feb. 21, 2015.
This weekend's primetime showdown is just the third game in the history of McKale Center to feature a pair of teams ranked in the top five of the Associated Press Poll. No. 4 Stanford defeated No. 3 Arizona, 82-72, on Jan. 10, 2004. Five seasons prior to that, No. 2 Arizona downed No. 4 Michigan State on Dec. 11, 1999.
Allonzo Trier's scoring efficiency has seen an uptick in his last five games. The Seattle native is averaging 15.8 points while shooting 52.4 percent (11 of 21) from beyond the arc and 82.4 percent at the free throw line (28 of 24) while eclipsing the 20-point mark in three of those appearances. The sophomore is also grabbing 5.6 rebounds per game during that span, nearly two rebounds more per game than his career average.
The Wildcats have won 12 of their last 16 regular season meetings against nationally-ranked opponents going back to the 2012-13 season.
The home finale for UA will be Senior Day for lone senior Kadeem Allen. The Wildcats are a perfect 7-0 on Senior Day under head coach Sean Miller.
McKale Center has not seen a visiting team ranked higher than the current fifth-ranked Bruins in a regular season game since No. 4 UCLA defeated UA 68-66 on March 2, 2008. Prior to Saturday, a top-five ranked team had visited Tucson 20 times since 1949. Arizona is 7-13 in those 20 games with the last win coming in a 65-64 victory over No. 5 Florida on Dec. 15, 2012.
Head coach Sean Miller is 6-2 in home games against a nationally-ranked opponent with five wins in his last six games inside McKale Center versus a top 25 opponent.
With a record of 15-1 in conference play entering the weekend, Arizona has now won 15 or more Pac-12 games for the third time in the last four seasons. UA has only achieved 15+ league wins in three out of four years just twice before. The program did it 1987-1991 and 1997-2001. The late 1980's stretch saw the Wildcats win 15 or more conference games in three consecutive seasons.