UA-Colorado postgame: More views on the 'call' and other notes

2013-01-04T01:06:00Z 2013-01-04T21:43:47Z UA-Colorado postgame: More views on the 'call' and other notesBy Bruce Pascoe, Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Colorado coach Tad Boyle may have become a bit more warmer under the collar after he left McKale Center on Thursday night.

After discussing Arizona's win and Sabatino Chen's waved-off three-pointer at McKale Center without any major fireworks, Boyle told ESPN's Andy Katz by telephone afterward that he wanted to get rid of instant replay and will be asking for an explanation from the Pac-12.

Meanwhile, NCAA officials coordinator John Adams told the Sporting News via text that the call was correct, that he "couldn't see the ball off fingers until 00 on the clock." 

After his McKale interviews, Boyle was quoted in the Boulder Daily Camera from his postgame interview saying that his players "deserved to win."

The Associated Press' Bob Baum said Boyle kept his composure with some difficulty after the game.

Our coverage: A game story on the non-shot and UA's streak of good fortune, a more in-depth look at Sabatino Chen and his shot, and Greg Hansen's column leading with official Verne Harris' big decision.

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The tension of having officials review the shot after the buzzer may have been reminiscent of the way officials checked out Nic Wise's game-winning three against Lipscomb three seasons ago.

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The three Wildcats players brought in for postgame interviews -- Mark Lyons, Nick Johnson, and Kevin Parrom -- disagreed on whether Thursday's game was the most difficult they had this season.

Not only had UA beaten Florida and San Diego State by one point each, but the Wildcats also trailed Southern Miss by 11 points late in the first half before winning that game by eight.

So this was the conversation when they were asked which was the toughest:

"This was harder," Lyons said.

"I don't know," Johnson said. "I don't know."

"Southern Miss?" Parrom said.

Johnson frowned at that suggestion.

Then Lyons came up with a compromise.

"I’m going with today," Lyons said. "(Parrom) got Southern Miss, (Johnson) got Florida and I got tonight.

"It’s tough. All of them. It's just tough, man."

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Lost in the controversy over Chen's shot were the several key plays made -- and not made -- in the final minute. One was the two free throws that Lyons sank with nine seconds left, after Lyons had made clutch offensive plays at the end of the Florida and San Diego State games.

 I asked Lyons if he was even nervous at that point, and Nick Johnson answered the question.

"Nah, he wasn’t nervous," Johnson said.

Lyons said the support of teammates helped.

"Honestly, Kevin came to me and said, `All right, we already know you’re going to make these,' " Lyons said. "So I could be as nervous as I want but my teammates got that confidence in me and it’s always going to give me that extra boost. I did give them credit in giving me confidence."

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Lyons had earlier missed a layup with a minute to go, leaving Colorado with a 79-74 lead.

"I thought I lost us the game," Lyons said. "But I’m a winner, my teammates know I’m never going to give up. The last 90 seconds, all I know is I was trying to win the game."

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 Parrom said he knew the Wildcats would win once the game went into overtime but wasn't happy that it had to get to that point.

"We were down 15 or 16 or something (actually 17) and we have to make sure we have a good start," Parrom said. "We can’t have deep holes like that. We're getting really lucky right now because we’re playing hard, start to finish.

"Because we’re playing hard, luck is on our side but it won’t be on our side forever, so we have to start the game better than we did."

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Despite the fact that UA students are on winter break, McKale had its loudest moments of the year at the end of the Florida and Colorado games. In fact, Johnson said the crowd was the loudest when Colorado's Spencer Dinwiddie shot free throws with 49.7 seconds left (and Dinwiddie was shooting toward the north end, where UA students were replaced by fans who may not regularly attend games).

"I've never heard anything like that," Johnson said. "I don’t know (Dinwiddie's) stats or anything but he was not missing from the free throw line."

Dinwiddie entered the game hitting 77 percent from the free-throw line, and had made 4 of 7 before shooting free throws with Colorado up by three points. He made just one of two, and Colorado led 80-76 before Lyons made a layup and two free throws to tie it.

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While Miller praised his players and UA fans for sticking around until the end, he wasn't as pleased with the Wildcats' three-point defense (Colorado made 10 of 15 from long range in regulation before missing all six in overtime) and with their offense early in the game.

UA shot just 25.9 percent from the field before halftime, in part, Miller said, because it lacked patience it needs at this point of the season.

"Whether we won or lost, my message to the team was that we're playing with fire with the way we’re playing offense," Miller said. "We have talented players and we're trying to score against good defense, now in January, on the first three passes of a possession. It doesn't work that way.

"As the season grows and builds, and good defensive teams become firmer, they’re able to take away the things that happened earlier. You have to play as a team and make five passes and seven passes. What you used to get early, you have to get late. It’s a total team effort on anything we do offensively. ... We weren’t patient enough."

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Here's the official box score.

 

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