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MBB Notebook 3/10/23: Arizona seeks revenge against ASU in Pac-12 semifinals after senior night’s buzzer-beater loss

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Ryan Wohl

Arizona men’s basketball faced off against Stanford University on March 9 at T-Mobile Arena in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament. 

LAS VEGAS — Thirteen days after suffering a buzzer-beater loss to ASU during senior night, the Arizona men’s basketball team will have a chance at revenge in the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament Friday, March 10.

Rematch with ASU in semifinals 

One of the most storied rivalries in college sports will be on center stage in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for a 9:30 p.m. MST tip-off between the Wildcats and Sun Devils for the third time this season. The season series is tied up at 1-1 right now.

ASU came into this tournament as the No. 6 seed and beat Oregon State University by 6 points in the first round on Wednesday, March 8, before upsetting the No. 3 seed USC last night on Thursday, March 9, by 5 points.

ASU guard Desmond Cambridge Jr. hit a half-court shot to win the game for the Sun Devils 89-88 on Feb. 25. In this game, Arizona led by 10 points with under 7 minutes to play but had only made 1 field goal during that time period.

“Yeah, it was a big-time game,” ASU guard Bobby Hurley said. “I said after, it felt like an Elite Eight type of game, the scoring, the shot making. It was an early glimpse into March Madness and what that’s all about. We have a lot of respect for Arizona and the program they have and what they have accomplished since I’ve been here, and more particularly the last two years.”

During that game on senior night, Arizona had five players score double digits while shooting 50.9% from the field and 42.3% from deep. But an area that Arizona struggled in during that game was foul shooting. The team was 23-34 for 67.6%.

Arizona and ASU have only played each other two times in the Pac-12 Tournament in the past. The score between them is currently 1-1 after both matchups. Arizona beat ASU 73-56 during the 2002 Pac-12 Tournament and ASU got the win over Arizona 68-56 in 2009.

The Wildcats have beaten the Sun Devils in six out of the past 10 games between the two teams. Arizona is 74-45 all-time while playing ASU, dating back to when this rivalry started in 1966.

The winner of this game will face the winner of the UCLA vs. University of Oregon game that tips off at 7 p.m. tonight.

Arizona’s Kerr Kriisa injured

Kriisa injured his shoulder during the first half of last night’s game but played through the injury during the second half. The only shots he attempted in the second half were two free throws that he did left-handed.

Arizona head coach Tommy Lloyd said Kriisa has a shoulder contusion and they are still evaluating the injury. His current status for tonight’s game is unknown.

UCLA vs. Oregon semifinals matchup 

Arizona is currently 1-1 on the season against both of these teams. They beat both UCLA and Oregon in McKale Center but didn’t have success on the road.

Oregon is currently on a four-game winning streak right now while they beat Washington State University during their quarterfinals matchup yesterday.

UCLA is the No. 1 seed in this tournament as they won the regular season Pac-12 championship. Oregon is the No. 4 seed in the field.

Bruins star guard Jaylen Clark got injured in the final regular season game against Arizona and it was recently announced that he has an Achilles injury and will be out for the remainder of the season.

UCLA struggled during the first half of its game against the University of Colorado Boulder yesterday as the team was down by 1 point at the break. The team ended up winning the game by 11 points as freshman Amari Bailey led the team in scoring with 26 points, his season high.


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