No. 4/4 Men's Basketball Opens Pac-12 Tournament Thursday
Game 32: #4/4 Arizona (28-3, 15-3 P12) vs. Utah/WashingtonMarch 13, 2014 • 12 p.m. MST • Las Vegas, Nev. • MGM Grand Garden Arena (16,800)
Tip: 12:06 p.m. MSTTelevision: Pac-12 Networks (Kevin Calabro/Ernie Kent)Radio: Arizona IMG Sports Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach)National Radio: Sirius 157; XM 190Rankings: Arizona - 4 (AP)/4 (Coaches); Utah/Washington - NR (AP)/NR (Coaches)Live Stats: Live stats are available via arizonawildcats.com
Game Storylines» After winning its 13th regular-season Pac-12 title and posting its best league record since the 2004-05 season, fourth-ranked Arizona will begin its quest for its fifth Pac-12 Tournament title on Thursday when it faces either Utah or Washington at noon MST.
» The Wildcats’ four Pac-12 Tournament titles are a league high; UA is in the midst of the second-best four-year run in program history, having won 108 games since the start of the 2010-11 season.
» UA collected a league-high 10 Pac-12 postseason honors, including Player of the Year (Nick Johnson), Freshman of the Year (Aaron Gordon) and Coach of the Year (Sean Miller); two of the five members of the both the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team and All-Freshman Team wear Arizona colors.
» This season marks Arizona’s 27th 20-win campaign since 1985, tied for fourth nationally in that time; UA needs one more victory to tie the fifth-best single-season win total in program history (29).
» Since the start of the 2012-13 season, Arizona has spent 32 weeks ranked in the top 10 of the AP poll; the Wildcats are one of 10 teams that has been ranked in every AP poll this season and spent eight weeks in the No. 1 spot.
» Miller continues to honor a process that has seen him lead UA to a Pac-12-best 108-31 (.777) record since the start of the 2010-11 campaign; the Wildcats have a Pac-12-best three 25-win seasons since Miller took over in Tucson.
» Arizona is ranked sixth nationally in scoring defense (58.7) and ninth in field goal percentage defense (38.5); the Wildcats lead the nation in effective defensive efficiency, allowing just 87.3 points per 100 possessions.
» The Wildcats are looking to become the first UA team to lead the Pac-12 in scoring defense since the school joined the league in 1978; its current mark of 58.7 per game would be its best since allowing just 55.3 per contest in 1950-51.
» Arizona’s interior defense has been stellar, limiting opponents to 41.2 percent shooting inside the arc to rank fourth nationally in two-point field goal percentage defense; UA ranks 20th nationally at just 16.5 fouls per game.
» UA employs a balanced offensive attack, having had at least four double-figure scorers in 20 of its 31 games; the Wildcats have gotten double-doubles from five different players this season, tied for the most in the Pac-12.
» Paced by T.J. McConnell’s league-leading 3.02 assist-to-turnover ratio, Arizona ranks 21st nationally with a 1.43 ATR on the season; UA’s average of 10.6 turnovers per game would be the second-best mark in program history.
» Arizona has won the rebounding battle 24 times this season and ranks fifth nationally with a +8.3 rebound margin; UA is one of only three teams to rank in the top 25 nationally in both offensive and defensive rebound percentage.