March 11, 2013
Date: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Time: approx. 2:30 p.m. PDT
Location: MGM Grand Garden Arena (13,151), Las Vegas, Nev.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach)
TV: Pac-12 Networks (Kevin Calabro/Ernie Kent/Yogi Roth/Ashley Adamson)
GAME DATA: No. 4 seed Arizona (24-6, 12-6 Pac-12) travels to Las Vegas for the 2013 Pac-12 Tournament and opens play in the second quarterfinal Thursday afternoon ... Arizona's 21 wins and four championships (1988-90, 2002) in this event are league bests ... Since 2002, the Cats are 12-10 in tournament play and advanced to four title games; the 22 games played are the most among Pac-12 members in that span ... The number 70 looms large on the scoreboard in conference tourney action as Arizona is 10-4 since 2002 when scoring 70 or more points and 2-6 when it does not.
THE RANKINGS: UA is ranked 18th in both the Associated Press poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll. The Wildcats are one of 11 teams nationally to have been ranked in every AP poll this season.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH Joe Pasternack ... Miller is 3-3 vs. Colorado and 5-3 vs. Oregon State as a head coach.
LAST TIME OUT: Four different Wildcats scored in a 10-0 burst midway through the first half as Arizona pushed the lead to double digits and held it there for much of the rest of the game in a 73-58 win over Arizona State Saturday. All eight UA players to see action in the first half scored and six grabbed a rebound. UA posted a +12 rebound advantage, led by Kevin Parrom and Solomon Hill combined for 25 markers.
SCOUTING COLORADO: The fifth-seeded Buffaloes enter the tournament with a 20-10 record (10-8 Pac-12) following Saturday's 64-58 loss to Oregon State. On the season, Colorado averages 67.9 points per game, shoots 43.8 percent from the floor (714-of-1,630), 34.3 percent (161-of-470) from three-point range and 68.1 percent (449-of-659) from the line. Opponents average 63.1 points, are outrebounded by 3.1 per game and shoot 40.2 percent from the floor (702-of-1,746). Individually, four CU players average in double figures, led by Spencer Dinwiddie's 15.4 ppg figure. Andre Roberson leads the Buffaloes in rebounding at 11.5 rebounds per game.
SCOUTING OREGON STATE: The 12th-seeded Beavers enter the tournament with a 14-17 record (4-14 Pac-12) following Saturday's 64-58 win at Colorado. On the season, Oregon State averages 72.1 points per game, shoots 44.9 percent from the floor (806-of-1,797), 36.8 percent (179-of-486) from three-point range and 66.7 percent (445-of-667) from the line. Opponents average 70.1 points, are outrebounded by 2.1 per game and shoot 43.3 percent from the floor (801-of-1,852). Individually, five OSU players average in double figures, led by Roberto Nelson's 17.7 ppg figure. Eric Moreland leads the Beavers in rebounding at 10.5 rebounds per game.
SIN CITY REGULARS: While this might be their first-ever postseason tournament appearance in Las Vegas, the Wildcats are no strangers to Sin City, as the squad has a 5-8 record (.385) all-time in the city. Eight of those games came against UNLV, and in neutral-site matchups, Arizona is 4-1 when playing in Las Vegas. UA's last appearance in Las Vegas came on Nov. 26-27, 2010, in games against Santa Clara (W, 82-59) and Kansas (L, 87-79) as part of the iBN Las Vegas Invitational
PAC-12 HONORS: Four Wildcats earned postseason honors from the Pac-12 Conference, as the league released its all-conference team on Monday with Solomon Hill and Mark Lyons earning first-team all-conference designations. Additionally, Nick Johnson was an honorable mention all-defensive team honoree and Kaleb Tarczewski was an honorable mention all-freshman pick.
SEEDING NOTE: The Wildcats enter this year's Pac-12 Tournament as the No. 4 seed. In the 16-year history of the Pac-12 Tournament , Arizona has been a No. 1 seed five times (1988, `89, 2003, `05, `11), No. 2 three times (1987, 90, 2002) No. 3 once (2004), No. 4 four times (2006, `10, `12, `13), No. 5 twice (2007, 09) and a No. 7 seed once (2008). Additionally, no other Pac-12 team has played in as many conference postseason tournament games as Arizona's 32. Of those 32 contests, the Wildcats have played as the higher seed 27 times.
A GOOD EXAMPLE: In Arizona's lone game last week, Nick Johnson led Arizona to victory by posting 17 points, four rebounds and three assists, while shooting 54.5 percent (6-of-11) from the field to go with three steals in the 15-point win over Arizona State. The 17 points were the most Johnson had tallied in 12 games, and he logged 36 minutes without a turnover. Johnson is shooting 44.7 percent from the field (119-of-266) in helping Arizona finish the regular season at 24-6 (12-6 Pac-12). On the year, he averages 11.6 points, 3.1 assists and 2.0 steals per game.
WORTH TOUTING: Through Sean Miller's four seasons in Tucson, Arizona is the Pac-12's winningest program in terms of overall wins (93) and percentage (.694). Additionally, the Wildcats have won a league-best 48 conference games in that span, a total shared with California. Arizona has earned a top-four seed (and first-round bye) in all four of Miller's seasons at Arizona. Incidentally, UA's 24 wins are the second-most during the regular season under Miller, topped only by the 2010-11 squad's 25 wins entering the conference tournament.
BOARD WORK: Arizona posted a 35-23 rebound advantage in Saturday's win over Arizona State, which marked its biggest rebound advantage in Pac-12 play. Included in the effort was a 13-3 edge on the offensive glass, which led to a 12-3 UA advantage in second-chance points. It was just the second time this season that Arizona posted a +10 edge on the offensive boards (Jan. 5 vs. Utah). Though 30 games, Arizona carries a +6.3 rebound margin and has outrebounded 22 of 30 opponents this season, including 13 of 18 conference foes. In conference play, UA's rebound margin was +37, but in the last five outings it has bounced to a +5.0 figure.
CONVERSIONS HELP: The Wildcats forced Arizona State into 17 turnovers in Saturday's game, a figure that equaled a Pac-12 high for the Sun Devils. UA converted those miscues into 21 points of its own and held a +8 advantage in turnover points. On the year, Arizona carries a +0.9 turnover margin and is 16-2 this season when turning it over less than the opposition.
THE SWITCH HELPED HIM: Playing on his Senior Day, March 9, Kevin Parrom responded with 13 points, seven rebounds and two assists. It was his fourth consecutive game in double figures, a career best and, has been a good representation of the increased productivity from the 6-foot-6 swingman since he moved into the starting lineup. In those six games, Parrom is averaging 11.3 points and 6.0 rebounds, while shooting 59.5 percent (22-of-27) from the field, including a .545 mark (12-of-22) from three-point range. He now leads the team with a .409 (38-of-93) three-point field goal percentage in his 30 appearances.
HE JUST GOES ABOUT HIS BUSINESS: Freshman center Kaleb Tarczewski continues to perform yeoman's work in the middle, as he posted nine points and eight rebounds in the win over Arizona State, connecting on all four field goal attempts. The 7-foot, 255-pound native of Claremont, N.H., is averaging 9.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game over his last six games to go with a .645 (20-of-31) field goal percentage, and has grabbed five or more rebounds in game 17 times this season. Overall, Tarczewski is averaging 6.6 points and a team-leading 5.9 rebounds per game and is one of two Wildcats with a field goal percentage above 50 percent.
IN THE MIX: Forward Brandon Ashley put forth a spirited effort against Arizona State, totaling six points and six rebounds in 18 minutes of action. Four of the 6-foot-8 freshman's rebounds were offensive, and he added a blocked shot in the process. It was his best rebounding game since Feb. 10. On the year, Ashley averages 7.4 points and ranks second on the team with a 5.4 rebounds per game average.
MORE OF THE SAME: Junior Jordin Mayes continues to play with renewed energy, as the guard tallied six points and a steal in Saturday's game. He's now posted 17 points in the last three games, while equals his scoring total from the rest of Pac-12 play. In this three-game burst, Mayes has hit 5-of-10 shots from the field. As Sean Miller said in the postgame press conference, "When Jordin got in he played like he did in L.A., his 12 minutes today weren't fill time, they were a productive 12 minutes."
GOOD STARTS: Arizona scored 40 points and held a 15-point halftime lead in its regular-season finale, and both were good signs. The 40-point opening half was a first for Arizona in nine games and UA is 19-1 this year when leading at the break.
IN MARCH: Since the start of the 1996-97 season, Arizona has a 64-34 (.653) record in the month of March. In that span, 40 of those games have been played in the NCAA Tournament and UA is 28-12 (.700) in them. In the Sean Miller era, Arizona is 12-7 (.632) in March.
BEFORE THEY MAKE ME RUN: Arizona has displayed a knack for timely runs so far this season. February 23 vs. Washington State, the Wildcats used a 21-9 run in the first half that game UA a double-figure lead it would not relinquish. Here is a look at UA's notable runs to date:
26-3 run over 8:41 (2nd) at Texas Tech, Dec. 1
30-8 run over 12:57 (1st+2nd) vs. Washington, Feb. 20
27-8 run over 6:53 (2nd+ot) vs. Colorado, Jan. 3
21-4 run over 9:07 (2nd) vs. Long Beach State, Nov. 19
23-6 run over 7:55 (1st) vs. Long Beach State, Nov. 19
22-7 run over 8:56 (2nd) at Clemson, Dec. 8
18-4 run over 6:28 (1st) vs. USC, Jan. 26
13-0 run over 4:26 (2nd) vs. UTEP, Nov. 15
14-2 run over 4:10 (2nd) vs. Northern Arizona, Nov. 28
22-10 run over 9:27 (1st) vs. Charleston Southern, Nov. 11
21-9 run over 11:02 (1st) vs. Washington State, Feb. 23
11-0 run over 3:38 (2nd) at Arizona State, Jan. 19
11-0 run over 3:13 (2nd) vs. Oral Roberts, Dec. 18
RECRUITING CLASS: The Arizona coaching staff signed two student-athletes to National Letters-of-Intent as part of the November early signing period. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (F, 6-7, 215) from Chester, Pa., who preps at Chester H.S.; and Elliott Pitts (G, 6-5, 180) from Dublin, Calif., who preps at De La Salle H.S.; make up a class that is ranked No. 18 nationally by espn.com.
UP NEXT: A win puts Arizona into tomorrow's first semifinal at 6 p.m. PDT on the Pac-12 Networks. A loss sends the team back to Tucson to await its postseason tournament possibilities.