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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Preview: Arizona set to take on gritty Colorado team in Pac-12 quarterfinals

Steven Spooner
Arizona men’s basketball head coach Sean Miller screams at his team during Arizona’s 71-55 win over University of Northern Colorado on Monday, Nov. 21.

Las Vegas – The regular season Pac-12 conference co-champion Arizona Wildcats are set to take on the No. 7 seeded Colorado Buffaloes Thursday evening in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas.

The Buffaloes are coming off a first-round win against Washington St. 73-63 and were led by guard Derrick White who posted 26 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.

When the ‘Cats and Buffs last met in the regular season, it was the second week of conference play in Tucson and Arizona won the battle 82-73. Lauri Markkanen had a team-high 22 points and Kadeem Allen was right behind with 18 points.

However, both teams have carved different paths since then including the return of sophomore guard Allonzo Trier who came back from suspension two weeks afterwards.

“We’re a different team, they’re a different team,” Colorado head coach Tad Boyle said. “They’ve got Allonzo Trier back, and he’s back in the flow of what they’re doing. So that game seems like a lifetime ago, because it was early January, and now here we are in early March.”

The frontcourt favors Arizona, because of size and mobility with Dusan Ristić and Markkanen, but the guard play for Colorado could give UA fits. White has scored in double-figures 15 times in conference play including Wednesday’s night game against WSU and Xavier Johnson averaged 14.7 points per game in the regular season.

White was also named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team along with Arizona guard Kadeem Allen so Thursday’s game should have gritty defense, especially on the perimeter, but even Boyle knows the Buffaloes can’t play too reckless.

“Against Arizona, you better put 40 minutes together. We don’t have to play perfect, but the margin for error goes down significantly,” Boyle said.

Tipoff between Arizona and Colorado is set for 7 p.m. at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

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