Most road trips to Los Angeles are glorious affairs filled with trips to Disneyland and the beaches up and down the coast. If you're lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of a television or movie star hurrying out of a trendy café.
It's been nothing of the sort for the No. 10 Arizona Wildcats. Rather than visit Norman Bates' Psycho house at Universal Studios, they traveled to Pauley Pavilion on Thursday night and watched Jason Kapono and his deadly three-point shooting turn it into the Wildcats' own house of horrors in a devastating 77-76 loss.
Now, after just one day off, Arizona heads across town to take on No. 25 USC at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena on Saturday (ABC, 3 p.m. PT). Instead of seeing Sam Jackson, they'll see Sam Clancy, the Trojans' dominating inside force who averages 19.0 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. Fortunately for the 'Cats, USC has lost two of three games and comes into this contest after losing to Arizona by 17 points last month, when Luke Walton exploded for 27 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
In addition to Clancy, Henry Bibby's squad boasts three other players who average in double figures, including point guard Brandon Granville, who is a four-year starter and one of the most prolific passers in Pac-10 history. Matching up with Granville will be one of the nation's other premier floor leaders in Arizona's Jason Gardner, who lit the nest up for seven treys and 25 points in the loss to UCLA. The potent Wildcat attack also includes a stellar forward duo in Walton, who along with Duke's Mike Dunleavy is the best passing front-court player in the land, and Rick Anderson, who is coming off of a 15-point, 10-rebound effort against the Bruins.
This matchup doesn't include the multitude of stars that comprised last year's teams, both made it to the Elite Eight (Lute Olson's boys ended up losing to Duke in the national championship game in Minneapolis), but it does contain two multi-faceted teams that no one will want to face come March.
Here's how the two teams shape up leading into Saturday's duel.
Arizona: 17-7 (10-4, Pac-10)
USC: 17-6 (9-4, Pac-10)
Last meeting: Arizona defeated USC 97-80 on Jan. 17.
Arizona has won the last four meetings.
Saturday marks Arizona's 11th game against a ranked opponent and is also the team's final road game of the season.
Arizona has won its last two appearances on ABC by an average of 36 points.
USC has won three of the last five meetings between the two teams at the L.A. Sports Arena.
Clancy has posted nine straight double-doubles and has 15 on the season, tying team records in both categories. In that span, he has averaged 22.7 points and 11.6 boards per game.