Game 7: #4/3 Arizona (6-0, 0-0 Pac-12) vs. #6/5 Duke (6-1, 0-0 ACC)
Nov. 29, 2013 • 4 p.m. MST • New York, N.Y. • Madison Square Garden (19,812)
Tip: 4:05 p.m. MST
Television: ESPN and WatchESPN (Dan Shulman/Dick Vitale/Andy Katz)
Radio: Arizona IMG Sports Network (Brian Jeffries/Corey Williams)
Satellite Radio: Sirius TBD; XM TBD
Rankings: Arizona - 4/3; Duke - 6/5
Live Stats: Live stats are available via arizonawildcats.com
» Top-10 teams will face off in the NIT Season Tip-Off final on Friday, as No. 4/3 Arizona takes on No. 6/5 Duke; UA’s three tournament titles are the second-most since 1985, trailing only Duke’s four championships.
» Now in his fifth season in Tucson, head coach Sean Miller continues to honor a process that has seen him lead UA to a Pac-12-best 86-28 (.754) record since the start of the 2010-11 campaign.
» UA is 21-2 all-time in the NIT Season Tip-Off, including an 8-1 mark at Madison Square Garden; the Wildcats are 17-12 (.586) under Miller on neutral courts and 5-9 against ranked opponents.
» The Wildcats’ semifinal win over Drexel on Friday was a tale of two halves, with UA posting a 46-33 edge in the second half after trailing 29-20 at the break; Kaleb Tarczewski and Aaron Gordon both put up double-doubles for UA, while Nick Johnson led the Wildcats with 20 points.
» Point guard T.J. McConnell has orchestrated an offensive attack that is operating at 51.8 percent from the floor, while averaging 26.3 free throw attempts in its first six games; McConnell owns a 3.1 assist-to-turnover ratio on the season.
» Sean Miller’s biggest Arizona team has been lethal in the paint over the season’s first six games, nearly doubling its opponents’ output in the same area; UA is +19.0 points per game in the paint on average and shooting 56.8 percent from inside the arc this season.
» Thanks in part to its interior success, UA’s top seven have combined to shoot 41.7 percent from beyond the arc in six games; the team is averaging 14.8 three-point attempts per game after averaging more than 20 a year ago.
» UA has gotten great production from Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in the early going; Gordon has four double-doubles and Hollis-Jefferson ranks third on the squad in free throw attempts (27); the two freshmen are combining to average 5.2 offensive rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game.
» UA is striving to continue an upward trend that saw the Wildcats progress from 108th nationally in adjusted defense in 2009-10 to 32nd nationally a year ago; the Wildcats have limited opponents to 34.0 percent shooting from the field and 29.5 percent from long range over their first six games.
» Arizona’s post defense has been stellar in the early going, limiting opponents to 36.1 percent shooting inside the arc and averaging 6.5 blocks per game; last season’s UA team averaged only 3.8 blocks per contest.
» Long and athletic on the perimeter, UA has hassled opposing shooters into a 29.5 percent mark from three-point range this season, including a total of 13-of-52 (.250) in its last three games.