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Colorado (23-10) vs. (4) Arizona (29-3)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Friday, March 14, 9 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: MGM Grand Garden Arena (16,800) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: Colorado 16-2, Arizona 18-0. Away Record: Colorado 5-6, Arizona 8-3. Neutral Record: Colorado 2-2, Arizona 3-0. Conference Record: Colorado 10-8, Arizona 15-3. Series Record: Colorado leads, 11-10.

GAME NOTES: With a spot in the Pac-12 Conference Tournament title game on the line, the top-seeded Arizona Wildcats take on the fifth-seeded Colorado Buffaloes in the semifinals at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Friday night.

After receiving a bye in the first round, Arizona made quick work of Utah in the quarterfinals on Thursday, winning 71-39. The Wildcats, who are hoping to add the tournament crown to their regular-season title, have won six of their last seven games and are 29-3 overall, with the three losses coming by a combined 12 points.

Colorado pushed its way to the semifinals with back-to-back 59-56 victories over USC and fourth-seeded California. The Buffaloes have won three of their last four games, with the only loss in that span being a 66-65 setback in overtime to the same Golden Bears team they beat yesterday.

As they did to many teams in the conference this season, the Wildcats swept the series with Colorado. However, the Buffaloes actually lead the all-time series. The winner this time will face either UCLA or Stanford in the final.

Colorado found a way to win in another grizzly contest on Thursday, holding on for the win over California. Askia Booker continued his strong play of late, netting 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting, while Xavier Johnson cleared eight boards to help the Buffs to a 38-29 edge on the glass.

The task of carrying the load since leading scorer Spencer Dinwiddie (14.7 ppg) went down with an injury has fallen to Josh Scott (14.5 ppg, 8.8 rpg) and Booker (13.9 ppg), who have assumed expanded roles. Scott is a strong player on the inside. He had 11 points and six rebounds against California on Thursday. Booker has been a an erratic shooter in his career, netting just 39.3 percent from the floor this season, but he is averaging 19 ppg on 16- of-32 from the floor in the first two rounds. Xavier Johnson (12.1 ppg, 5 9 rpg) has also picked up the pace in terms of scoring recently, netting 24 points in the season finale, while scoring in double figures in 14 of the last 15 contests overall.

Arizona has relied on its defense all season and it did so yet again in the quarterfinals. The Wildcats limited the Utes to only 12 field goals on 25.5 percent shooting, and also outscored their opponent 13-4 off turnovers, and 12-2 out on the break.

Sean Miller, who was named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year, is mentoring one of the best defensive teams in the country this season. Arizona ranks in the top-10 in scoring defense (58.1 ppg), assists against (9.1 apg), and opponent field goal percentage (.382). With such dominant play at that end of the court, the Wildcats have not had to be as potent offensively, as they net just 73.4 ppg. Nick Johnson (16.1 ppg) and Aaron Gordon (12.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg) joined their coach in earning postseason hardware, with Johnson named the Pac-12 Player of the Year, and Gordon laying claim to the award for the top freshman. T.J. McConnell (8.3 ppg, 5.5 apg) has run the point well after transferring in from Duquesne. The team is still trying to find a consistent replacement for Brandon Ashley (11.5 ppg), but Kaleb Tarczewski (10.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg) has made strides in attempting to do so.

Thanks to Booker, Colorado has been able to find ways to win despite playing inconsistently in the first two rounds. The Buffaloes won't be so lucky against an Arizona team at the top of its game.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arizona 76, Colorado 68

03/14 10:34:11 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
Final
CAR 19
PIT 37
Final
NYY 5
TOR 2
Final
MIA 1
WAS 2
Final
BAL 2
BOS 3
Final
PIT 1
MIL 0
Final
ATL 2
NYM 10
Final
TAM 5
CWS 10
Final
MIN 2
CLE 7
Final
KAN 5
DET 2
Final
HOU 8
SEA 3
Final
CHC 5
LOS 8
Final
ANA 1
TEX 2
Final
OAK 8
PHI 6
Final
COL 8
ARI 3
Final
SDP 8
SFG 2
Final
STL 2
CIN 7
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
SEA
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
PIT
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
HOU
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
STL
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
ARI
 
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
ANA
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
SFG
 
Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
Final
WAS 1
BUF 0
Final
CLB 4
STL 3
Final
EDM 3
CAL 1
Final
CAL 1
EDM 0
1:30pm Today
NYI
OTT
 
6:00pm Tonight
NYI
OTT
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
DET
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
NJD
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
TOR
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
MIN
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
STL
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
ANA
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
COL
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARI
LOS
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
 
Final
CLE 21
BAL 23
Final
STL 31
DAL 34
Final
DET 19
GBP 7
Final
NYG 30
HOU 17
Final
JAC 17
IND 44
Final
NOS 20
MIN 9
Final
NEP 16
OAK 9
Final
BUF 10
SDC 22
Final
CIN 33
TEN 7
Final
PHI 37
WAS 34
Final
ARI 23
SFX 14
Final
SEA 26
DEN 20
Final
MIA 15
KAN 34
Final
CAR 19
PIT 37
8:30pm Tonight
NYJ
CHI