Five star small forward Emmanuel Akot says he's heading to Arizona in 2018.

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Just before the Wildcats' 2017 postseason took off, they received their first addition to the recruiting class of 2018.

And it's a big one.

Five-star small forward Emmanuel Akot of Winnipeg, Manitoba announced on Twitter that he will commit to the Wildcats. He made the commitment official with UA coaches earlier today.

"I'm blessed to announce that I will be committing to the University of Arizona," he wrote. "BEAR DOWN."

Akot told Scout he commited to UA because of its "family atmosphere." 

Akot is a junior at Utah's Wasatch Academy this season despite turning 18 later this month. He played for Canada in the FIBA U17 championships last summer, averaging 9.9 points and 2.9 rebounds. Canada finished fifth out of 16 teams but did not face the USA, which won the tournament.

Lauri Markkanen has been named a finalist for the Karl Malone award given to the nation's top power forward, along with UCLA's T.J. Leaf, Purdue's Caleb Swanigan, Baylor's Johnathan Motley and Notre Dame's Bonzie Colson.

Colorado cut Arizona's 20 point lead down to four when the teams met on Jan. 7 at McKale Center, but Buffaloes coach Tad Boyle isn't about to make any assumptions from that game.

Too much has change. Colorado was in the middle of a seven-game losing streak then, and has since won 9 of 12. Arizona didn't have Allonzo Trier then but does now.

"We're a different team. They're a different team," Boyle said after the Buffs beat Washington State on Wednesday. "They've got Allonzo Trier back, and he's back in the flow of what they're doing. So that game seems like it was a lifetime ago because it was early January, and now here we are in early March, it's two months later.

"I think you're going to see a different Arizona team and probably a different Colorado team. It's beyond, I think, Xs and Os now, I think. Our guys know what they need to do to be successful. Now it's just a matter of going out and executing and getting the job done."

Most notably, the Buffs need to defend to make Thursday's game interesting. They allowed WSU to shoot 56.7 percent in the first half, when the Cougars led by up to 19 points, and held them to just 30.8 percent in the second half.

Colorado allowed UA to shoot 50 percent in the second half of the Jan. 7 game, while turning the ball over 15 times -- leading to 24 UA points off turnovers.

"Against Arizona, you better put 40 minutes together," Boyle said. "We don't have to play perfect, but the margin for error goes down significantly."

Derrick White may have led Colorado on Thursday, but fellow seniors Xavier Johnson and Josh Fortune played big roles, too.

The Pac-12 extended commissioner Larry Scott's contract through 2022. UCLA chancellor Gene Block cited Scott's "innovation and excellence in almost every aspect of our activities."

The Register looked at whether UCLA's offensive philosophy can hold up in the postseason.

All the podium interviews for Wednesday's games can be found here if you're interested.

Since NCAA-mandated postseason rules now apply, all locker rooms are open to the media after games, so many of our interviews will be from there instead of just podium interviews. We are able to offer deeper coverage as a result.

This is a big change from regular-season games, when all UA interviews are limited to a press conference or gathering by Sean Miller and two players the UA selects to be interviewed. (Many other high-major college teams now do it this way, too.)