Pac-12 Men's Basketball Tournament Post-Game Notes: #1 ARIZ (63), #5 COLO (43)
With this win, Arizona has now made it to the championship game in the Pac-12 Tournament three times in four years.
With this win, Arizona moves to 30-3 on the season, the second time in four years that Head Coach Sean Miller has led the Wildcats to 30 wins. In his career, it is the third time in eight years he’s had a 30-win season, reaching the milestone with Xavier in the 2007-08 season. This is Arizona’s fourth 30-win season in program history and the second time in three years.
Senior T.J. McConnell continued his great Pac-12 Tournament play, posting over 10 points for the second game in a row (12 pts.).
Arizona spread the scoring around effectively with three players in double-digit scoring including T.J. McConnell (12 pts, 4 reb, 5 assists), Nick Johnson (16 pts, 4 reb, 4 assists), and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson who came off the bench and put up 12 pts, 8 reb, and 1 assist.
This is only the seventh time that freshman forward Aaron Gordon has been held to under 10 in both points and rebounds.
Arizona’s defense once again proved that they are one of the best in the country, holding its opponent to 50 or less points for the seventh time this season.
Arizona and Colorado have played each other in the Pac-12 Tournament every year since Colorado joined the Pac-12. With this win, Arizona now leads the Pac-12 Tournament series 2-1.
With its 28th 20-win season this year, Arizona moves up to tie third place Duke since 1985 *(through March 8).
Arizona goes undefeated in the season series with Colorado (3-0), winning by double-digits in each of the three games (63-43 @Pac-12 Tourney, 69-57 @AZ, 88-61 @ COLO). Arizona also ties the all-time series 11-11 with this win today.
Arizona remains undefeated on neutral courts going 4-0 on the year, with wins against Drexel and Duke in the NIT Season Tip-Off and defeating Utah and Colorado in the quarterfinals and semifinals on Thursday and Friday.
Despite the loss today, Colorado Head Coach Tad Boyle still has the highest winning percentage in Pac-10 or Pac-12 Tournament history (.778) with a record of 7-2.
This season marks the 27th 20-win campaign since 1985, tied for fourth nationally in that time. Their 29 wins this season ties their fifth-best single season record in program history (29).
Colorado hung with Arizona in the first half by capitalizing on Arizona’s turnovers; Colorado only had two turnovers while Arizona coughed up the ball 8 times in the first half, turning into 11 points off turnovers for Colorado and only two points off turnovers for Arizona.
Even though Arizona dominated in the rebounding category in the first half (25-15), they were not able to capitalize on that, each team scoring 5 second-chance points in the first half.
Arizona’s Freshman Forward, Aaron Gordon played a well-rounded first half, scoring 6 points on 3-of-5 shooting from the field, grabbing 6 rebounds, and 3 assists.
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