The expert consensus coming into the 2014-15 season seemed to be that the Arizona Wildcats would coast to their second consecutive Pac-12 championship.
That consensus no longer exists, thanks to the emergence of the Utah Utes and the Wildcats’ recent struggles that includes two losses in their last five games.
In fact, Pac-12 Networks analyst Don MacLean said No. 8 Utah (14-2, 4-0 Pac-12), which is a game ahead of No. 10 Arizona (15-2, 3-1) in the conference standings heading into Saturday’s showdown in Tucson, is currently playing at a higher level.
“They’re going to challenge them (in the Pac-12), for sure, and I would say right now, Utah is better than Arizona,” MacLean told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Friday.
“That being said, I think Arizona wins that game tomorrow just because of the environment.”
UA is 7-0 against Utah since the Utes joined the Pac-12. MacLean likes UA to improve that mark to 8-0 this weekend because of Utah’s struggles on the road dating back to last season, and the Wildcats’ significant home-court advantage at McKale Center, where they have a 31-game winning streak.
But at a neutral site, MacLean would give Utah the edge.