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Sean Miller reaches championship round in free throw competition

From an Arizona Wildcats press release Friday morning:

TUCSON, Ariz. — Sean Miller has shot himself into the title round.

The University of Arizona head men’s basketball coach won his fifth-round match Thursday, 31-29, to advance in the “Shots From the Heart” free throw contest.

Miller made 23 of 25 free throws Thursday, scoring a total of 29 points to advance on a tiebreaker over Buzz Peterson of UNC-Wilmington, who also made 23 of 25 and scored 29 points. Miller advanced by making 13 consecutive shots during the round, three more than Peterson.

“We’ve had a nice run in March and I wanted to keep that going,” said Miller. “I was a little fortunate to defeat Buzz, and I know that I can’t miss any more. As I’ve said all along, my slogan remains, “Don’t Miss.’”

Through five rounds of action, Miller has made 115-of-125 shots (.920) and has tallied 147 of a possible 155 total points. His score improved in each of the first three rounds, and Miller recorded perfect scores in rounds four and five.

Miller is scheduled to face Fred Hoiberg (Iowa State) in the championship round.

The coaches will shoot on campus following the conclusion of the Final Four, April 4, in Houston. Hoiberg has yet to miss a shot in the tournament (125-of-125).

“Shots from the Heart” is a season-long free throw contest that features 64 participating head coaches bracketed in a tournament-style format. Beginning in November and continuing once monthly through the NCAA Final Four in Houston, coaches will shoot 25 free throws — with varying point values — on their campuses while a departmental staff member will tally and report the results.

The coach with the most points scored in each match-up will advance to the next round.

In an effort to avoid ties, the following scoring system will be used: shots 1-20 are worth 1 point each, shots 21-24 are worth two points each, and shot 25 is worth 3 points.

The event is administered by collegeinsider.com in conjunction with Close The Gap, an educational initiative designed to promote awareness about cardiovascular risk factors. Any proceeds from the event will benefit the American Heart Association. For additional tournament information, go to www.collegeinsider.com/shots. There is a tournament for assistant coaches as well.

Miller, who graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1992, finished his career as one of the top 10 free throw shooters in NCAA history. He connected on 317-of-358 (.885) free throw attempts for his career, and he still holds the Pitt record for career free throw percentage. Additionally, Miller is the only player in Pitt history to shoot better than 90 percent from the line in a single season, and he accomplished that feat twice.

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