Arizona Wildcats will face Utah in Pac-12 Tourney quarterfinals

Pac12Tourn1314Utah

LAS VEGAS — The fourth-ranked Arizona Wildcats will face in the Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals tomorrow at noon a Utah team that has won four of its last five games.

The Utes (21-10 overall) kept their slim NCAA tournament hopes alive with a 67-61 victory over Washington in front of a partisan Utah crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena today. Utah’s lone defeat in the last five games was a 67-63 overtime setback against Arizona in Salt Lake City on Feb. 19.

Dakarai Tucker’s three-pointer with 38 seconds remaining put the Utes up 63-60 over Washington. A Nigel Williams-Goss missed three-pointer was followed by two free throws by Brandon Taylor with 15.3 seconds left.

All that remained was a chance for Utah’s fans to celebrate a chance to face Arizona after losing twice in the regular season. The Wildcats also defeated Utah 65-56 at McKale Center on Jan. 26.

The Utes, who had an RPI rating of No. 80 entering the day, withstood a gritty second half from Washington, which is a potential NIT team at 17-15. It is the third consecutive season Lorenzo Romar’s team has failed to advance to the NCAA tournament.


Larry Krystowiak will coach against Sean Miller for the third time this season tomorrow (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Larry Krystowiak will coach against Sean Miller for the third time this season tomorrow (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Utah looked strong at halftime, leading 34-24, outrebounding the Huskies 23-14. But Washington’s Williams-Goss ignited the Huskies with 13 of his 15 points in the second half.

The Huskies took a 59-58 lead with 1:25 remaining on a three-point play by Desmond Simmons. Two Jordan Loveridge free throws put Utah up 60-59 with 1:18 remaining.

After Simmons made one of two free throws to tie the game at 60 with 1:08 left, Tucker made his pivotal three-pointer, his second of the game.

Loveridge led the Utes with 13 points and nine rebounds. Delon Wright led the Utes with 15 points, nine of which came at the free-throw line with a 9-for-11 performance from there.

ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.



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