Arizona Wildcats basketball: On Zags' bigs and that 2003 classic

2014-03-22T20:43:00Z 2014-03-22T21:00:04Z Arizona Wildcats basketball: On Zags' bigs and that 2003 classicBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

SAN DIEGO -- A few notes and links after interviews during the day between games:

Gonzaga may have lost Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris off their No. 1 seeded team from last season, but UA assistant Book Richardson called big men Sam Dower and Przemek Karnowski were "arguably" the best post duo the Wildcats will face this season.

Defensively, Gonzaga holds teams to 39.4-percent shooting, nearly as efficient as Arizona is.

They have "just hard nosed man to man," Richardson said. "I don’t think coach (Mark) Few gets enough credit for how hard these kids play, and how well they’re coached. It’s ironic because his demeanor on the sideline doesn’t show you how they are."


Maybe Sean Miller unknowingly asked for this one.

Not too long ago, according to Gonzaga coach Mark Few, Arizona coach Sean Miller was watching a replay of Arizona's classic double overtime win over Gonzaga in the 2003 NCAA tournament round-of-32.

“Sean texted me in the middle of the night,” Few said. “He was watching on some replay, maybe ESPN Classic, the Zag/Arizona game and we were texting back and forth about that.

“He said yesterday `I think we jinxed each other by doing that.’ We ended up playing each other again.”

In almost exactly the same situation: Arizona is the No. 1 West Region seed after carrying a No. 1 ranking for much of the season, just as the Wildcats did in 2003, while Gonzaga was the No. 9 seed then and is the 8 seed now.

Arizona won the game 96-95, with several players dropping to the Huntsman Center after it was over.

“That was a game where the players were exhausted and helping each other up afterwards,” Few said, “because they had so much respect for the battle that had just played out.”


Another big win today for Archie Miller, who led Dayton to the Sweet 16 for the first time in 30 years and there's little doubt his older brother was proud.

Few knew early what the Flyers were capable of: The Zags loset 84-79 to Dayton in their Maui Invitational opener back in November.

“Archie is doing a great job,” Few said. “We knew when we played them that they were an NCAA tournament team and they did a nice job of rallying at the end to get it going.”


Gonzaga's Kevin Pangos has pushed on through injuries.


Here's the full transcript of podium interviews today from Arizona and Gonzaga.


We'll have our usual onslaught of coverage posted at midnight on our Wildcats page.


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