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Pac-12 Tournament Championship Open Thread: Arizona Wildcats vs. Colorado Buffaloes

And so we come down to this. A four seed and a six seed combating in a play-in game to go dancing.

In many ways, it's nice not to have a team with an at-large bid. Plenty of antacid will be passed around fans in the Bay Area and Seattle, but both teams still should feel like they still have a shot at a bid. It gives the Pac-12 an outside chance at three bids, something that might have seemed unfathomable a week or so ago (although one more Washington win might have helped).

Of course, this could be an ugly game. Both the Arizona Wildcats and Colorado Buffaloes have been winning games with their defensive focus, while their offense has been scattershot. But the Wildcats and the Buffaloes have proven they can find their second wind when the opposition gives them their best shot, and have found different ways in every game.

  • Colorado beat Cal because they adjusted well to Cal's counterpunch, denied easy shots and points in the paint for the Bears, and then made some incredible shots against solid Cal defense.
  • Arizona won a shootout with Oregon State when they proved they could get past porous Oregon State defense and took advantage of dead Beaver legs in the second half.
  • Colorado's defense stifled Oregon and took away the easier looks, forcing them to take tougher shots and forcing them into their worst scoring night of the season.
  • Arizona struggled with their shot and their possession all game long against UCLA, but got to the foul line ad nauseum and nailed their free throws and forced the Bruins into their own shooting woes.
  • Colorado beat Utah because Utah sucks a lot, lot more even when Colorado is playing at their offensive worst.

It's hard to figure out how both these teams match up. The teams split the season series although Arizona came very close to sweeping it with a one point loss in Boulder. Colorado has had to play the extra game, but it didn't seem to hurt them all against Cal or Oregon. Arizona doesn't have Josiah Turner, but they do have the size inside that matches up well with Colorado's bigs, which could mean a split on the rebounding boards.

This could be a bit of an offensive struggle given the lack of rest for either side, but expect both teams to go at it. This is your Pac-12 tournament open thread.