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Richard Midgley
Cal's English starting point guard Richard Midgley is ready for the visit of the Arizona Wildcats
(Photo: Cal Athletics)
California Golden Bears vs Arizona Wildcats
NCAA - Pac-10 Conference

day 27 February 2003 (7.30pm PST)
Haas Pavilion - Berkeley, CA (USA)

Richard Midgley and his California Golden Bears are within touching distance of an NCAA Tournament invite but face a testing closing three games of the regular season.

No question - the first of those three clashes poses the greatest challenge for Cal, with the visit tonight of the Arizona Wildcats, currently the number one-ranked college team in the US.

The two teams faced off earlier this month in Tucson, with the Wildcats running out 95-80 winners on that occasion, and Midgley highlighted what he feels Cal needs to do better in the re-match.

"We'll probably try and slow the game down a lot more, as they're such a good transition team. So, basically try and stop their fast break and just slow the game down - keep it to a lower scoring game," he said.

Cal's home court Haas Pavilion provides fertile hunting ground for the Golden Bears, as they take a 17-game unbeaten home run into tonight's match-up - a streak that goes back to last season.

The game will likely be a 11,877 sell-out and Midgley emphasised how important the crowd will be to their pursuit of the victory: "They always give us a lot of support and are really loud. So, hopefully that will help us."

Midgley is averaging 9.5 points and 3 assists per game, and currently leads the Pac-10 conference in 3-point percentage shooting (32 for 66, 48.5%) but apparently it's not something he dwells on.

"It doesn't really mean too much to me. I'm not really too worried about stats," he said.

But you can bet that Arizona is less inclined to downplay the threat he poses, and they'd surely be foolish to give Cal's sharp shooter the chance to find his range from behind the 3-point arc.

The game is being broadcast live nationally in the States - and will be shown on NASN in the UK & Ireland on Friday and repeated Saturday - something that Cal's starting English point guard relishes.

"Yeah, it's exciting. Obviously, friends and family don't get to see me play out here, and they get an opportunity to watch it, so it's good," said Midgley.

Looking ahead to Sunday, Cal gets the opportunity to avenge their earlier loss to Arizona State - who themselves face Stanford tonight.

These four teams (Arizona, Cal, Stanford and Arizona State) currently hold the top 4 seeding spots in the upcoming Pac-10 Tournament, and the
rankings picture should become a little clearer by Sunday night, as the last week of regular season play approaches.

Cal closes out their schedule at local rivals Stanford next Saturday (8th March).


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