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Arizona does it with defense

March 15, 2013|Diane Pucin
  • Arizona forward Kevin Parron draws a charge against Colorado guard Askia Booker in the first half Thursday afternoon in a Pac-12 Conference tournament game.
Arizona forward Kevin Parron draws a charge against Colorado guard Askia… (Jeff Gross / Getty Images )

LAS VEGAS — No. 18 Arizona met Colorado for the third time this season in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 men's basketball tournament Thursday and this time there were no last-second theatrics.

Fourth-seeded Arizona held off fifth-seeded Colorado, 79-69, earning the Wildcats (25-6) a semifinal matchup Friday against top-seeded UCLA at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Colorado remembered the controversial finish in Tucson in January when a winning three-pointer by the Buffaloes at the buzzer was waved off.

Arizona made its defense count early, scoring 15 points off Colorado turnovers in the first half to take a 39-28 lead at the break.

Spencer Dinwiddie led a 7-0 Colorado run that cut into Arizona's lead to six points. Colorado's Andre Roberson had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and his two free throws cut Arizona's lead to two with less than a minute to play, but the Buffaloes never scored again.

"We thought we played great tonight," Arizona Coach Sean Miller said.

Last year Colorado won the tournament and the automatic NCAA bid. This year the Buffaloes (20-11) must wait.

Utah 79, California 69 (OT) -- The 10th-seeded Utes (15-17) won their fourth straight game and for the second straight day upset a higher-seeded team and will face Oregon in the semifinals. The Bears (20-11) were seeded second.

With four seconds left in regulation, Utah's Jarred DuBois made a three-pointer to send the game to overtime. Then freshman Jordan Loveridge and Jason Washburn scored eight points apiece in the extra period.

DuBois finished with 21 points and Loveridge had 20. Justin Cobbs led California with 26. Allen Crabbe, the Pac-12 player of the year, had 21 points, but he missed 12 of 18 shots.

Of DuBois' final shot in regulation, Utah Coach Larry Krystkowiak said, "We had a play called. Sometimes in that situation it's harder to score after a timeout, so we didn't call one. He hit a good shot, but we believe in our system."

Oregon 80, Washington 77 (OT) -- Oregon freshman Johnathan Loyd sank two free throws with 4.4 seconds left to force overtime for third-seeded Oregon (24-8). Sixth-seeded Washington (17-15) finished the season by letting the Ducks score nine straight points at the end of regulation and into OT.


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