• G Askia Booker (6-1, sophomore)
• G Spencer Dinwiddie (6-6, soph.)
• F Xavier Johnson (6-6, freshman)
• F Andre Roberson (6-7, junior)
• C Josh Scott (6-10, freshman)
• G Mark Lyons (6-1, senior)
• G Nick Johnson (6-3, sophomore)
• F Kevin Parrom (6-6, senior)
• F Solomon Hill (6-7, senior)
• C Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, freshman)
As they did in Los Angeles, all of the Pac-12 teams will be staying at the same Las Vegas hotel this week, a situation that is both convenient and potentially awkward.
But at least it's the 5,044-room MGM Grand, instead of the 951-room JW Marriott in Los Angeles, where space was a bit tighter. Not only did teams run into each other in the Los Angeles hotel, but they sometimes would hold team meetings in rooms adjacent to their opponents. "We shared the ballroom," UA coach Sean Miller said. "I've never seen anything like it. (Moving to the MGM Grand) is one of the great improvements we've made."
Shades of '97?
ESPN "bracketologist" Joe Lunardi had a conversation with Miles Simon about UA's postseason prospects and, not surprisingly, 1997 came up.
"It wouldn't be the first time that Arizona bumped along in February and got hot in March," Lunardi said of this year's Wildcats during a conference call Tuesday. "I said that to Miles. They were (11-7) in the league, and this team is in better position than that."
The 1996-97 Wildcats finished in fifth place in the Pac-10 that season and were seeded No. 4 in the Southeast Regional before winning the NCAA title.
This season, the Wildcats appear to be in the 4-6 range headed into the Pac-12 tournament.
After flying in 50 student fans to help root the Buffaloes to the Pac-12 tournament title last season, Colorado did the same thing in Las Vegas.
Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn told the Daily Camera of Boulder, Colo., that the 50 most loyal student fans, as tracked by a loyalty program, were rewarded again with a trip to Las Vegas. "The competition was fierce," Bohn said. "It's a real source of pride within our student body."
HOW THEY MATCH UP
• How they got here: Colorado finished fifth in the Pac-12 at 10-8, and beat 12th-seeded Oregon State 74-68 on Wednesday. Spencer Dinwiddie led Colorado with 20 points, and the Buffaloes out-rebounded OSU 43-30.
• This year's meetings: Arizona and Colorado split a pair of wild games this season. The Buffs nearly won at McKale Center on Jan. 3 before Sabatino Chen's would-be buzzer beater in regulation was waved off. The Wildcats ended up winning that game 92-83, but Colorado got revenge with a 71-58 win at home on Feb. 14.
• What's new with the Buffaloes: Colorado followed big home wins against Arizona (Feb. 14) and Oregon (March 7) with head-scratching losses to ASU and Oregon State but mostly continues to play some of the Pac-12's best defense. Forward Andre Roberson missed two games last weekend but returned Wednesday.
The toughest part of Colorado's defense isn't on the perimeter - it's inside, where Roberson is not only a premier rebounder and shot-blocker but also has the athleticism to lunge over and play effective help defense.
As did most of his teammates at Boulder, Colo., last month, Johnson struggled offensively against the Buffs' sound defense. But the sophomore combo guard appears to have rebounded from a February slump just in time.
Losses in five Pac-12 tournament games for Colorado since the Buffs joined the league last season
Pac-12 tournament wins out of seven games for Arizona under Sean Miller
UA career games played by Solomon Hill, who would pass Jason Gardner for the top spot in UA history if the Wildcats advance to Saturday's title game
He said it
"The way they play defense and rebound … getting good shots against them is hard to do. In Boulder, a lot of times we broke down toward the end of the shot clock because it wasn't coming easily."
UA associate head coach James Whitford, who scouted the Buffaloes
Colorado (21-10) vs. No. 18 Arizona (24-6) • 2:30 p.m. today • Pac-12 Arizona • 1290-AM, 107.5-FM