LAS VEGAS — The budding basketball rivalry between Arizona and Colorado will add an important chapter Thursday afternoon.
The fourth-seeded Wildcats will take on the fifth-seeded Buffaloes at 2:35 p.m. in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament, in what will be a rubber match of the season series.
Well, Colorado says that might already have been decided.
The Buffs are still a bit touchy about that 92-83 overtime loss in Tucson that kicked off the conference season for both teams. You know the deal: Most think Sabatino Chen’s 3-pointer at the end of regulation beat the clock and should have counted.
“We don’t go back and we don’t cry over spilled milk,” said Colorado guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
“We know it goes in the record book as a loss. But a lot of people around the country have the same feeling that we do. Even some of their players do, because we kind of talked about it on the floor last time.
“So we do feel like we’re 2 0, but we don’t take that for granted because they’re a great and talented team.”
The Buffs avenged that loss with a 71-58 win in Boulder on Feb. 14. Colorado led by seven at halftime and wasn’t threatened, leading by double-digits for most of the second half.
But three of the five meetings between these teams since Colorado joined the Pac-12 have come down to a shot at the end of regulation.
There was the Buffs’ 64-63 win in Boulder last season, with Kevin Parrom air-balling a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Then came the championship game of the Pac-12 tournament; Kyle Fogg’s 3-pointer was under pressure and wasn’t close at the final horn as CU won 53-31.
And then there was the Chen game.
Overall, CU is 3-2 vs. Arizona in the Pac-12 era.
“I think there is a lot of mutual respect between the programs, and I respect their coach and their coaching staff,” said CU coach Tad Boyle.
“I respect their players and their program, what it means to college basketball in the Pac 12. I think what we did last year, and this year … I think we’ve earned some respect as well. So I look for a heck of a game.
“They’re talented. We’re talented.”
More coverage from the Pac-12 tournament:
Javier Morales: Stanford’s OT loss to ASU makes Dawkins’ seat hotter