Arizona stumbles against UCLA; Pac-10 race becomes a race again

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No. 10 Arizona’s 71-49 loss to UCLA this afternoon was as bad as it looked.

And I’m not just talking about the beatdown they took on the court, which was mostly the result of a 22-2 run in the middle of the game that spanned both halves.

I’m talking about in regards to the Pac-10 standings. Arizona could have won the Pac-10 regular season title by sweeping this weekend’s trip to the Southern California schools. Instead, the Wildcats were swept, proving the doubters of their national ranking correct.

UCLA, on the strength of Reeves Nelson going for 27 points and 16 rebounds, moved into a tie for first place in the Pac-10 with the win with Washington sitting just a game back in the loss column, pending their rivalry rematch at Washington State on Sunday.

Arizona should still feel fairly comfortable about their chances to win the regular season title. They finish the season against the Oregon schools at home, while the Bruins have to head up to the Washington schools. What you should be worried about, however, is what the Wildcats are going to be able to do in the NCAA Tournament.

Arizona doesn’t have the point guard play or the playmakers on the perimeter to be a threat when Derrick Williams isn’t great. Case in point — Momo Jones and Jordin Mayes combined for zero assists in 41 minutes today.

Is that really a team you can trust under the pressures of March?