[ {"id":"8861f724-106a-11e7-822b-478eaf4ab5c4","type":"article","starttime":"1490343480","starttime_iso8601":"2017-03-24T01:18:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1490345297","priority":45,"sections":[{"pascoe":"sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/pascoe"},{"basketball":"sports/arizonawildcats/basketball"}],"flags":{"editors_pick":"true","top_story":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Arizona-Xavier postgame: Trier has 'faith' in Miller after Sweet 16 loss","url":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/pascoe/article_8861f724-106a-11e7-822b-478eaf4ab5c4.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/pascoe/arizona-xavier-postgame-trier-has-faith-in-miller-after-sweet/article_8861f724-106a-11e7-822b-478eaf4ab5c4.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/pascoe/arizona-xavier-postgame-trier-has-faith-in-miller-after-sweet/article_8861f724-106a-11e7-822b-478eaf4ab5c4.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Bruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"Sean Miller says it having his team play without confidence was \"the worst feeling you can have as a coach.\"","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["arizona wildcats basketball","sean miller","lauri markkanen","allonzo trier"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#toptwo","#editorspick"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"bd74659c-105a-11e7-95f3-bf708e854c37","description":"Arizona Wildcats guard Allonzo Trier (35) walks off the court after the University of Arizona Wildcats vs. Xavier University Musketeers Sweet 16 game in the NCAA Tournament at SAP Center, March 23, 2017, in San Jose, Calif. Arizona lost 63-61. Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star","byline":"Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star","hireswidth":2918,"hiresheight":2063,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/d7/bd74659c-105a-11e7-95f3-bf708e854c37/58d4bbf4f24f4.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1075","height":"760","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/d7/bd74659c-105a-11e7-95f3-bf708e854c37/58d4bbf4efa04.image.jpg?resize=1075%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"71","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/d7/bd74659c-105a-11e7-95f3-bf708e854c37/58d4bbf4efa04.image.jpg?resize=100%2C71"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"212","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/d7/bd74659c-105a-11e7-95f3-bf708e854c37/58d4bbf4efa04.image.jpg?resize=300%2C212"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"724","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/d7/bd74659c-105a-11e7-95f3-bf708e854c37/58d4bbf4efa04.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C724"}}}],"revision":29,"commentID":"8861f724-106a-11e7-822b-478eaf4ab5c4","body":"

SAN JOSE, Calif. \u2013 After the Arizona Wildcats ended their season short of the Final Four again, Allonzo Trier was asked what he thought about the questioning Sean Miller might receive ahead.

He seemed puzzled, even as somebody appeared to be\u00a0updating Sean Miller\u2019s postseason record on Wikipedia\u00a0at about the same time.

\u201cUm. Questioning a guy who had a 32-5 basketball team?\u201d Trier said. \u201cThey probably don\u2019t know much if they\u2019re questioning him from that standpoint. Coach did what he thought was best for us to put us in the best position to win the game, and we\u2019re going to go out there and try to execute as well as we can as a basketball team. I totally have faith in my coach that he\u2019s knows what he\u2019s doing, not somebody else who doesn\u2019t.\u201d

The Sporting News\u2019 Mike DeCourcy also offered some perspective about Miller\u2019s track record.

FWIW, my Twitter notifications in the immediate few hours after the game included a \"Fire Miller,\" \"his teams are predictable,\" \"team's intelligence level unacceptable,\" \"what's up with his poor timeout management\" and \"Miller will never reach a Final Four.\"

Miller actually put a lot of the blame on himself during his podium interviews after Thursday\u2019s game. Miller spoke of the Wildcats\u2019 inability to defend well, especially down the stretch, and their lack of confidence against the zone, and talked about his role in it all.

\u201cEqually disappointed in myself,\u201d Miller said. \u201cYou know, our team never really ever established great confidence against the zone. And I think in some ways that was the reason, defensively, that we weren\u2019t as good as we usually are, because the game never really felt good, and that\u2019s on me.

\u201cYour job when you get to this area, when you get to this level of college basketball, your best players have to be confident. We have to get them shots. I don\u2019t care what defense they\u2019re playing \u2013 1-3-1, 2-3, man-to-man \u2013 I don\u2019t feel we did that tonight. And that\u2019s the worst feeling you can have as a coach.\u201d

Here's the full podium comments from Miller, Kadeem Allen and Parker Jackson-Cartwright. Xavier's are here.

Sounded like Miller had a pretty uplifting postgame locker room talk, with virtually all of the players repeating his reminder that they did, after all, win the Pac-12 Tournament and (tie for) the Pac-12 regular season title, while winning 32 games.

\u201cWe had a great year,\u201d Rawle Alkins said. \u201cWe had an historical year.\u201d

Lauri Markkanen sat looking downbeat but tried to keep that in mind, too.

\u201cWe went through a lot this year, so of course we have to think about all the good things we did,\u201d Markkanen said. \u201cIt\u2019s just sad the season ended so we can\u2019t go to Phoenix.\u201d

Allonzo Trier discussed that point at more length.

\u201cWe had a great year, a tremendous year,\u201d Trier said. \u201cA year that will have a lot of memorabilia and history that will be in McKale, on the walls and in the locker rom. It\u2019s just tough because we all had our sights on the Final Four.

\u201cThat was what we talked about and we believed it. We knew it was something we could do and then our journey kind of got cut short. We knew it wasn\u2019t going to be easy. We weren\u2019t going to walk there. Nobody was going to let us go to a Final Four just because it\u2019s in Phoenix. It doesn\u2019t work like that.\u201d

Markkanen and UA's other players who are considered potential early departures this spring all declined to comment on their plans or decision processes ahead. UA players are normally off-limits for the most part in the offseason so face immediate questioning after their last game.

Our full coverage is attached to this post as are the box score and final stats.

Thanks again for reading this season. The news isn't going to slow down for a while this spring, so please stick around ...

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SAN JOSE, Calif. \u2013 If Chris Mack and Xavier pull off an upset tonight over Arizona, he\u2019ll have mixed emotions.

Same will happen if he loses, because Sean Miller is on the other bench.

\u201cI don\u2019t think it\u2019s enjoyable or difficult. It just is what it is,\u201d Mack said of playing his longtime friend and former boss. \u201cI don\u2019t have feelings on way or another. After the game, I\u2019m gonna be either sad for him or happy for him. That\u2019s just sort of how it works.\u201d

Eight years removed from leaving Cincinnati, Miller said he still watches Xavier as often as he can.

\u201cA big, big fan. Love that place,\u201d Miller said. \u201cThe friendships that my family and I have, we still have today. I don't get back to that area very often, only because it's not easy to being that we now live in Arizona.

\u201cBut, first of all, Chris Mack has led Xavier to four Sweet 16s in the last eight years. There aren't many coaches that can say that. And our players, and I'm sure you got this when you talked to them, they know that Xavier has been to 11 of the last 12 NCAA Tournaments. They know that a year ago Xavier was a No. 2 seed; that right now they're closer to being in, like, three or four Sweet 16s in a row than they are any other way.\u201d

Having received plenty of praise for the way he steered UA through an adversity filled year, Miller heaped it on Mack, too.

\u201cChris Mack is one of our game's bright coaches, great coaches. He's not my former assistant. He stands on his own two feet and his record and what he's done speaks for itself,\u201d Miller said. \u201cI don't know if I've seen a coach take a team that had lost a number in a row and lost such a terrific player, and now flip it and have them playing at such a high level.

\u201cWe're playing against one of the hottest teams that's remaining in the tournament. And if last weekend is any indication of where they're at, it's scary for anybody that's going to play against them.

\u201cSo I give a lot of credit to Chris and his staff, their team and players, but also Xavier. It's a special place who loves college basketball. And it just seems like they bring out the best in everybody.\u201d

Las Vegas has Arizona a 7.5-point favorite while Kenpom gives the Wildcats a 65 percent chance of winning. However, here\u2019s one forecast that\u00a0picks the Musketeers.

Looks like tickets for the West Sweet 16 may be overpriced, especially considering that no participating team is from within an easy drive: There were nearly 1,300 tickets still available through the NCAA channel as of late morning but they were $151 plus fees for upper-deck seating. StubHub listed prices for lower corner seats that were under $200.

Couple of compelling Sweet 16 matchups to watch before UA tips off: Oregon-Michigan (4:09 p.m. on CBS) and Gonzaga-West Virginia (4:39 p.m. on TBS).

While talking about the blue-collar work ethic he wants to instill in the Huskies, new Washington coach Mike Hopkins predictably lost Michael Porter Jr. from his 2017-18 roster.

Big man Matthew Atewe also said he's taking off.

Looks like Hopkins is trying to lure assistant Jason Hart over from USC but the Trojans are countering.

Tyson Alger of the Oregonian has a good look at how Dillon Brooks has learned to live in the spotlight since the \"Coach K incident\" last season.

A year after UCLA fans were calling for his head, Steve Alford appears to be in a pretty good position with Indiana appearing to be interested in him.

Arizona Desert Swarm has a long look at the Arizona-Xavier matchup. Daily Wildcat staffers weigh in on keys to the game.

UA could be back in the mix for Chase Jeter, who announced he is transferring from Duke.

With six staffers here in San Jose (by far the most of anybody, I believe), we have gobs of coverage on our Wildcats page and if you're able to get a print edition today, we have a Sweet 16 special section, too.

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Twelve former Wildcats are expected to participate in Arizona\u2019s pro day Friday. They include the following 10 members of the 2016 team:

Also scheduled to participate are offensive lineman Cayman Bundage, a three-year starter from 2013-15; and Makani Kema-Kaleiwahea, who played at Arizona in 2012 and \u201913 before transferring to Hawaii.

Three Arizona senior starters from last season will not participate in pro day. Defensive lineman Sani Fuimaono and receiver Nate Phillips have elected to retire from football. Linebacker Michael Barton is recovering from shoulder surgery. He continues to train in hopes of landing a pro tryout later this year or next year.

Arizona\u2019s pro day, which runs from about 10 a.m.-noon, is closed to the media. Players will be available for interviews after their workouts.

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Quick hitters from the Arizona Wildcats\u2019 media availability after their 11th practice of spring Wednesday morning:

* Arizona will conduct its annual pro day Friday, so a lot of the conversation centered on the Wildcats\u2019 NFL prospects. Although the UA doesn\u2019t have any certain draftees this year, all 32 teams are expected to have representatives on hand.

* UA coach Rich Rodriguez is particularly bullish on Samajie Grant, who played both receiver and running back last season. \u201cI think Samajie Grant\u2019s an NFL guy,\u201d Rodriguez said. \u201cHe\u2019s got the athletic ability. He\u2019s got the toughness. More than anything, he\u2019s got a football awareness. He can learn multiple positions in a short period of time.\u201d

* Rodriguez said receiver Trey Griffey, who played in the East-West Shrine Game, brings added value because of his special-teams ability. \u201cHe\u2019s a physical guy,\u201d Rodriguez said. \u201cHe\u2019s got good size. You can put him on every special team, and he\u2019ll be one of the best guys you have there.\u201d

* Griffey and linebacker Paul Magloire Jr. are Arizona\u2019s highest-rated prospects, with some projecting Magloire as a mid-round pick. Rodriguez described Magloire as a \u201creally good athlete\u201d and praised him for moving from safety to linebacker in midseason in 2015.

* The Wildcats practiced in the morning, and Rodriguez liked the energy level. Most of this spring's workouts have been in the afternoon. Arizona practiced in the morning last season for the first time under Rodriguez.

* Former Arizona All-American Scooby Wright worked out in the UA weight room wearing Cardinals gear. Wright joined the Cardinals late last season.

* No position has changed more since last season than linebacker, and more changes are coming with four more on the way in summer. Rodriguez wants to make sure the scheme is simple enough for them to play right away \u2013 but not so simple that opposing offenses can easily decipher it.

* Regarding the overall influx of players on defense in the past two recruiting cycles, Rodriguez said: \u201cI think we\u2019re deeper talent-wise than we\u2019ve been in maybe three or four years.\u201d

* Defensive coordinator Marcel Yates estimated that Arizona played man coverage about 70 percent of the time last year, largely because he felt the need to create more pass-rush pressure with blitzes. He\u2019d like that figure to be closer to 50 percent.

* Linebackers coach Scott Boone said redshirt freshman Jacob Colacion has been a \u201cpleasant surprise.\u201d Unlike last season, Colacion is practicing without a bulky knee brace. He has been working at \u201cWill\u201d linebacker and at times at \u201cMike\u201d when Brandon Rutt has class conflicts.

* Generating turnovers continues to be a daily point of emphasis in practice, with considerable time spent on specific situations such as third downs in the red zone.

* Rodriguez on whether Arizona will change its approach to recruiting after a rash of de-commitments in the most recent cycle: \u201cThere were a variety of reasons for that. I\u2019m studying why that happened. It was really frustrating. We\u2019re still taking the same approach. Every guy that we took early last year we\u2019d still take again. \u2026 We\u2019ve got to make sure we\u2019ve got guys that are picking the school for the right reason and not just enjoying the recruiting process because they get their name tweeted out more often.\u201d

"}, {"id":"647314b8-0f22-11e7-856c-c7a7de76fc80","type":"article","starttime":"1490202600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-03-22T10:10:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1490209109","priority":45,"sections":[{"pascoe":"sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/pascoe"},{"basketball":"sports/arizonawildcats/basketball"}],"flags":{"editors_pick":"true","top_story":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Arizona basketball: Lavin says Xavier has successfully 'reinvented' itself","url":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/pascoe/article_647314b8-0f22-11e7-856c-c7a7de76fc80.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/pascoe/arizona-basketball-lavin-says-xavier-has-successfully-reinvented-itself/article_647314b8-0f22-11e7-856c-c7a7de76fc80.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/pascoe/arizona-basketball-lavin-says-xavier-has-successfully-reinvented-itself/article_647314b8-0f22-11e7-856c-c7a7de76fc80.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":1,"gallery":0},"byline":"Bruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"Arizona can expect to see plenty of zone defense Thursday, the coach-turned-analyst says.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["arizona wildcats basketball","steve lavin","ncaa tournament"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#toptwo","#editorspick"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"0954b154-7533-5b8f-ac1f-4f2fe1746c3a","description":"Pac-12 commentator Steve Lavin, left, chats with Allonzo Trier before a game this season. Trier averaged 14.8 points in 27 games (21 starts) as a freshman.","byline":"Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"975","height":"760","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/95/0954b154-7533-5b8f-ac1f-4f2fe1746c3a/58d2c7b2a99c5.image.jpg?resize=975%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"77","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/95/0954b154-7533-5b8f-ac1f-4f2fe1746c3a/5702fc898a055.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/95/0954b154-7533-5b8f-ac1f-4f2fe1746c3a/58d2c7b2a99c5.image.jpg?crop=1024%2C576%2C0%2C33&resize=300%2C169&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/95/0954b154-7533-5b8f-ac1f-4f2fe1746c3a/58d2c7b2a99c5.image.jpg?crop=1024%2C576%2C0%2C33&resize=1024%2C576&order=crop%2Cresize"}}}],"youtube":[{"id":"54aacf24-0f24-11e7-87f0-379ef907005a","starttime":"1490203380","starttime_iso8601":"2017-03-22T10:23:00-07:00","title":"\"Who Are Those Guys?\" - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid","description":"Steve Lavin says the classic movie line can apply to Xavier's basketball team this season.","byline":"","video_id":"-kbTbg00AJU"}],"revision":21,"commentID":"647314b8-0f22-11e7-856c-c7a7de76fc80","body":"

SAN JOSE \u2013 Received a 15-minute window to speak with former UCLA and St. John\u2019s coach Steve Lavin about the UA-Xavier matchup this morning, and I knew that would be a challenge.

Not only does Lavin know the Pac-12 and Big East probably as well as anybody, having coached in both leagues, but the Turner Sports analyst always has plenty of descriptive things to say.

He stumbled for words only once when he likened Xavier to the posse chasing Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, where Paul Newman says \u201cWho are those guys?\u201d

\u201cYou know, they\u2019re trying to lose them and they think they\u2019re gone and all of a sudden they hear the hoofsteps,\u201d Lavin said. \u201cYou might need to look it up.\u201d

(A video clip of that line is attached).

The point being that Xavier won\u2019t go away. The point also being that Xavier today, maybe even more so than Arizona, is not the same team it was a month or two ago. Among other issues, the Musketeers lost point guard Myles Davis to a suspension for half the season and then, after just three games, his decision to quit in January, while standout guard Edmund Sumner blew out his knee later that month.

\u201cPeople are evaluating Xavier based on their freefall when they lost seven of 10 games (including six in a row),\u201d Lavin said. \u201cBut they reinvented themselves and this current group is playing at a very high level in terms of confidence. You look at them and it\u2019s `Who are those guys having career nights?' \u201d

Lavin said he\u2019s been particularly impressed with guards Trevon Bluiett and J.P. Macura, while noting that the Musketeers\u2019 switching defense can be problematic \u2013 especially when they go to a 1-3-1 zone.

\u201cThey\u2019re mixing defenses which they\u2019ve done in the past but this group has been paying better defense than they have all season,\u201d Lavin said. \u201cThey have a fulltime 1-3-1 with Macura and then they have a 1-3-1 that drops into a 2-3 zone. They sometimes trap and they also have a man-to-man. They\u2019ve been very effective at keeping opponents off balance. I would imagine Arizona would see a lot of zone.\u201d

Lavin said Arizona can beat the Musketeers\u2019 defense by getting out in transition before that defense sets up and, in the 1-3-1, by trying to attack the baseline or get good shooting in the corner.

Sean Miller and Lauri Markkanen were given NABC all-district honors.

The Seattle Times' Larry Stone looks at whether Mike Hopkins' passion will translate into success at Washington.

Utah's Kyle Kuzma will test the NBA Draft waters.

If you're headed to San Jose and still without tickets, some more will be released for sale at noon PT.

Arizona will hold its mandatory 50-minute on-court appearance at 3 p.m. today in the SAP Center. It is open to the public though the Wildcats' offsite practice earlier in the day is closed.

The Wildcats are also scheduled for interviews between 2:30-3 p.m. We'll be posting stories online afterward into the evening, while transcripts of podium interviews will be available at asapsports.com.

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Quick hitters from the Arizona Wildcats\u2019 media availability after their 10th practice of spring Monday afternoon:

* UA coach Rich Rodriguez said running back is the position he feels best about in terms of depth (assuming reasonably good health) and experience.

*\u00a0Regarding injury-prone senior tailback Nick Wilson, Rodriguez said: \"When he\u2019s been healthy, he\u2019s played well. But he hasn\u2019t been healthy that much. It\u2019s been uneven simply because of the injuries. I think Nick is determined to have a great year to get back to having the kind of production he had as a freshman.\"

*\u00a0Rodriguez said \"some guys were still about half on spring break mentally\" in the team's first practice since having a week off. Overall team conditioning is not where Rodriguez wants it, but he's confident that won't be an issue come August.

*\u00a0Offensive line coach Jim Michalczik said he feels better about the depth of his group than at any time since he's been at Arizona.

*\u00a0Rodriguez expects center Nathan Eldridge to have more confidence in taking control of the line entering his second season as Arizona's starter. Eldridge, who will be a redshirt sophomore, said he's \"100 percent\" more comfortable now vs. last year thanks to extensive film study and technique work.

*\u00a0Rodriguez said right tackle Gerhard de Beer hasn't been able to practice this spring. De Beer missed time at the end of last season (knee).

*\u00a0The following offensive linemen, all redshirt freshmen, are practicing after missing time earlier in camp: Michael Eletise (car accident), Harper Sherman (ankle) and Keenan Walker (ankle).

*\u00a0As was the case before spring break, receiver Cam Denson had a walking boot on his right foot. The injury is not believed to be serious.

*\u00a0Defensive end Jalen Cochran again had a yellow jersey on as he left practice, indicating he still isn\u2019t back from an undisclosed injury.

*\u00a0Nose tackle Parker Zellers, who has been limited, exited practice wearing pads and carrying a helmet, a possible sign that he\u2019s back to full strength.

*\u00a0Rodriguez again mentioned an expanded role for the tight ends. They will be split it out more, creating less of a need to sub and enabling the offense to play faster.

*\u00a0Does Arizona's basketball success help football? \"When our name is out there, I think it helps everybody,\u201d Rodriguez said. \u201cIt\u2019s a positive.\"

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Attention, Arizona Wildcats basketball fans:

I know you\u2019re a little preoccupied right now. I totally understand. March Madness is intoxicating and irresistible.

But I come to offer a friendly reminder that Arizona spring football is still a thing. After taking last week off for spring break, the Wildcats resume practice this afternoon. They have six more left before switching to offseason-training mode.

Here\u2019s a look at what\u2019s to come and what ground has been covered so far:



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SALT LAKE CITY \u2013 When Kadeem Allen dislocated his finger on Feb. 14 and took off the Wildcats\u2019 following two games, the word inside the program was that he would have played if it was the NCAA Tournament instead of just regular-season games at Washington State and Washington.

But this was the Tournament.

So when Rawle Alkins suffered an even worse injury when he tried to grab a defensive rebound in the first half against Saint Mary's, he went back in the game.

And he\u2019ll likely play Thursday against Xavier, too, after probably taking it easy in practice this week with his broken and dislocated right index finger.

\u201cWe\u2019ll tape it correctly, give him some stability and a little medicine to minimize his inflammation,\u201d athletic trainer Justin Kokoskie said. \u201cThe body heals fast, especially somebody his age. It\u2019s just the way it popped out that kind of scared him.\u201d

Alkins said because the injury was unlike any he\u2019d had before he \u201cwas panicking,\u201d but when doctors told him he could play with what he called a \u201cminor fracture\u201d he was OK (Kokoskie said it was actually a regular fracture common to dislocated fingers).

The break before the Sweet 16 should help Alkins heal. UA will take Sunday off, then likely practice Monday and Tuesday before leaving for San Jose on Tuesday afternoon, then practice privately on Wednesday in or near San Jose.

FWIW, UA is not holding any media availability until the mandatory NCAA Tournament pregame interviews on Wednesday in San Jose, so there may not be any update on Alkins until then.

Allen\u2019s bone-through-the-skin ordeal may have looked worse, but he only dislocated his right pinky and did not break it.

\"His was an open dislocation,\" Kokoskie said. \"This was a regular dislocation with a fracture.\"

Parker Jackson-Cartwright and Dusan Ristic, the only two Wildcats who actually played on Arizona\u2019s last Sweet 16 team, said this one felt different. Ristic is in a more prominent role without Kaleb Tarczewski around and Jackson-Cartwright noted how this season\u2019s team has been through more adversity.

\u201cKadeem wasn\u2019t playing that year so this is a whole new team,\u201d Ristic said. \u201cIt feels a little different but we have he same aspirations and goals. We\u2019re not done yet. We have to play Xavier and they\u2019re gonna be same team like they were my freshman year \u2013 they\u2019re really well-coached. It\u2019ll be a great challenge for us.\u201d

After playing 14 minutes against North Dakota on Thursday \u2013 including eight in the second half \u2013 Kobi Simmons went back to a limited role again Saturday even with Alkins missing time.

Simmons played six minutes, going 0 for 3 from the field. He has played single-digit minutes in five of his past six games.

Although the locker rooms were open to media because of NCAA Tournament rules, allowing Simmons to be asked about it, Simmons answered questions about his role with only a minimum of words.

\u201cJust playing hard and doing my job,\u201d he said.

Our full coverage is attached to this post, as are the box score and updated stats. Here's the podium comments from Arizona and Saint Mary's.

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SALT LAKE CITY \u2013 When asked what he expected from Saint Mary\u2019s, Rawle Alkins\u2019 first words at the interview podium Friday were no surprise.

He basically echoed his coaches.

\u201cOur biggest takeaway from last night is that we have to rebound the ball,\u201d Alkins said. \u201cWe have to rebound and defend. Saint Mary's, they're kind of the opposite of North Dakota being that they play slow. They play a slow tempo. And we know that we're going to have to play defense for 30 seconds of the clock every possession.\u201d

That tempo: Only Virginia runs a slower run in Division I, out of 351 teams. And Saint Mary\u2019s shoots nearly 40 percent from 3-point range, often popping one in in the final seconds of the shot clock, when defenders get crossed up on screens or just flat tired.

\u201cIt's going to be a great defensive challenge for us,\u201d Sean Miller said. \u201cThere's going to be long possessions. And we're going to have to be really good at the end of the shot clock, in the last ten seconds. You could play very good defense for 15 or 20 seconds but all of a sudden one of your five defenders breaks down and Saint Mary's has a way of taking advantage of that.

\u201cAnd as you know, (center Jock) Landale inside is terrific. He is as good around the basket as any low post player that we've faced. But it still comes down to their execution. A lot of his scoring opportunities happen because of how well they execute and a lot of the ball screens that they use. They do a great job of putting him in position of catching the ball and score. To me it's about us being as good as we've been all season long, defending the other team.\u201d

In a way, Miller said, playing North Dakota may have helped prepare the Wildcats \u2013 not in pace but in how the Hawks screened. North Dakota shot 50 percent in the second half of UA\u2019s 100-82 win.

\u201cThey have a couple of guards that I think are as good as a lot of great back courts that we played against this season and they move the ball and they were tough for us to defend,\u201d Miller said. \"We could have been better at times but the one thing that I'm excited about is (Thursday) night challenged us in such a big way defensively that it leads into our next game.

\u201cIt wasn't like it was easy for us to guard them or what they had on offense doesn't represent the future. If anything, I think it really represents what we're going to go up against (Saturday) because as you guys know, Saint Mary's has terrific guard play. They move the ball. They set as many ball screens as any team that we'll face. North Dakota was similar in that aspect.\u201d

The Daily Wildcat expanded on UA's defensive concerns.

Lauri Markkanen picked up some attention from the Salt Lake Tribune.

The Pac-12 will carry four teams into the round of 32, thanks maybe to Elijah Stewart's grudge against Ken Pomeroy, of all people.

UCLA had a little scare when Lonzo Ball hit the floor against Kent State but he appears to be OK.

Oregon had no trouble with MoMo Jones' old team.

Our advance coverage is attached to this post. Arizona's podium transcripts are here.

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SALT LAKE CITY \u2013 Parker Jackson-Cartwright sees himself as a gear-shifter of sorts, which is coming in pretty handy for the Arizona Wildcats this season.

\u201cI think my job is to change the pace when I\u2019m in the game,\u201d Jackson-Cartwright said after Arizona beat North Dakota 100-82 on Thursday. \u201cIf I\u2019m walking the ball up at 5-8, 5-10, I\u2019m not using my strengths. I\u2019m not effective. I\u2019m not really valuable. So when I get in I try to play really fast and help my teammates get shots.\u201d

That worked well on Thursday against the breakneck speed of North Dakota, which plays with the 34th fastest tempo in the nation, according to Kenpom. PJC had eight points, on 3-for-4 shooting, five rebounds and four assists to two turnovers.

But on Saturday, the Wildcats may have to rev it down quite a bit against Saint Mary\u2019s, which runs an-almost-polar-opposite tempo that ranks 350th out of 361 teams.

PJC is confident about that, too. Asked about the expected change in pace Saturday, he said:

\u201cEveryone\u2019s different,\u201d he said. \u201cThat\u2019s what makes this team so unique. I think we can switch our tempos fast and slow. It\u2019s not about the pace. It\u2019s about doing what makes us good all year.\u201d

Something else Saint Mary\u2019s does differently: The Gaels make 39.9 percent of their 3-point shots, the 16th best mark in the nation.

That\u2019s a little concerning for UA coach Sean Miller after the Wildcats allowed North Dakota to hit 10 of 22 3-pointers while Quinton Hooker went 5 for 8 and Corey Baldwin went 4 of 9.

Even if North Dakota gets more of its 3s in transitions than Saint Mary\u2019s does.

\u201cOne of the alarming things, and it's something we have to get right here entering Saturday, two shooters that clearly we knew were great shooters, No. 21 and No. 1, Hooker and Baldwin, they went 9 for 17,\u201d Miller said. \u201cBut I'm just going to bet that if you look at how they scored their 3's, they got quite a few on a fast push in transition. Some of that starts with our running good offense. But it really starts with making sure that we're back. And transition can break your back. And at times I thought they created some great shots for themselves against our transition defense.\u201d

Certainly, it appears the algorithms in KenPom land love the Gaels. The predictive website ranks Saint Mary's No. 14 in the country and gives the Gaels a 54 percent chance of beating Arizona.

North Dakota didn\u2019t leave Vivint Arena with its heads down. The Hawks returned to the court after the game to stand in front of their fan section, and both the players and fans cheered.

\u201cIt was amazing,\u201d guard Geno Crandall said. \u201cIt was a great experience. You can\u2019t really sum it up in words. Coming out of that tunnel and seeing 17,000 people is just an awesome experience. We are just so grateful and to just be here is awesome.\u201d

And, after battling Lauri Markkanen inside, Hawks center Carson Shanks might just be pulling for UA\u2019s Finnish freshman on NBA Draft night.

\u201cI sure hope my Timberwolves draft Lauri Markkanen,\u201d said Shanks, of Prior Lake, Minn. \u201cHe\u2019s a great player.\u201d

Our full coverage is attached to this post, as are the box score and updated stats.

Here\u2019s the transcripts of postgame podium interviews with Arizona, North Dakota and Saint Mary\u2019s.

Earlier Thursday at Vivint Arena, Gonzaga had its share of issues trying to behave like a No. 1 seed, Northwestern received a break in beating Vanderbilt, and Saint Mary's may have proven some things with a win over VCU.

USC will face\u00a0SMU at 12:10 p.m. Friday (TBS)

The LA Times had a closer look at Lonzo Ball before the Bruins face\u00a0Kent State at 7 p.m. (TBS)\u00a0in Sacramento

The Oregonian looked at Dana Altman's career trajectory before the Ducks open with Iona at 11 a.m. (TBS).

"} ]