No. 12 Washington vs. No. 5 Arizona
Time: 2:30 p.m. PT Wednesday
Where: T-Mobile Arena (Capacity: 18,000)
TV: Pac-12 Networks (Roxy Bernstein and Don MacLean)
Radio: KOMO 1000 AM & 97.7 FM (Tony Castricone and Jason Hamilton)
Records: UW (15-16, 5-13 Pac-12); Arizona (20-11, 10-8)
Projected starting lineups:
Player … Ht … Yr … PPG … RPG … APG
G Marcus Tsohonis … 6-5 … Fr. … 6.9 …. 1.8 … 2.2
G Jamal Bey … 6-6 … So. … 5.8 …. 2.5 … 1.4 (steals)
G Nahziah Carter … 6-6 … Jr. … 12.5 … 5.0 … 1.5 (steals)
F Hameir Wright … 6-9 … Jr. … 5.7 …. 4.2 … 1.8
F Isaiah Stewart … 6-9 … Fr. … 16.6 … 8.7 … 2.1 (blocks)
Player … Ht. … Yr. … PPG … RPG … APG
G Nico Mannion … 6-3 … Fr. … 14.0 … 2.5 … 5.4
G Dylan Smith … 6-5 … Sr. … 8.5 … 3.1 … 1.3
G Josh Green … 6-6 … Fr. … 11.7 … 4.6 … 2.6
F Stone Gettings … 6-9 … Sr. … 6.7 … 4.2 … 1.0
F Zeke Nnaji … 6-11 … Fr. … 16.3 … 8.6 … 0.9 (blocks)
Coach: Sean Miller is the longest tenured coach in the Pac-12 who has compiled a 284-100 record during his 11 years (2009-present) with the Wildcats. Before Arizona, he spent five years (2004-09) at Xavier and had a 120-47 record. Miller is 404-147 for a .735 winning percentage during his 16-year coaching career. He’s made 11 NCAA tournament appearances, seven trips to the Sweet 16 and four Elite Eights.
Preseason prediction: Arizona was picked third in the Pac-12 preseason media poll.
Series: Arizona leads 53-31 in a series that began in 1964. Washington is 3-0 against Arizona in conference tournament games.
First meeting in 2019-20: Washington had a nine-point lead in the second half and was up by five with a little under six minutes left, but went cold at the end and lost 75-72 to Arizona at Alaska Airlines Arena on Jan. 30. The Wildcats finished with an 11-3 run as the Huskies missed seven of their final eight shots and committed four turnovers the rest of the way. UW converted 14 of 28 three-pointers, which was the most Arizona has surrendered to a Pac-12 opponent since 2009. Arizona sophomore guard Jemarl Baker Jr. came off the bench and tallied a game-high 17 points on 4-of-7 shooting on three-pointers.
Second meeting in 2019-20: Washington raced out to a 17-point lead early in the second half and held off Arizona for a 69-63 victory last Saturday at McKale Center. The Huskies went up 40-23 just after halftime when the Wildcats took control over the next 15 minutes and closed to 59-55 with 3:55 left. Bey and McDaniels answered with three-pointers to fend off the rally. Bey closed the scoring for UW with four free throws in the final 24 seconds.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
— Freshman forward Zeke Nnaji leads the Pac-12 with 14 double-doubles, which ranks second all-time at Arizona among freshmen and is third among all freshmen nationally this season. Nnaji, who won the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year award, leads the conference in rebounding in league play (9.1) and ranks seventh in scoring (16.3). He’s projected as a mid-first round pick in the 2020 NBA draft.
— Freshman guard Nico Mannion is second in the Pac-12 with 167 assists this season and 5.4 assists per game. Mannion’s 23 points against Washington State last Thursday was one shy of his career high. He tallied 11 points, five assists and five turnovers in 40 minutes last Saturday against Washington.
Mannion is projected as a lottery pick in the NBA draft.
— Freshman guard Josh Green returned last week after missing two games with a back sprain. He had eight points and five rebounds against UW last Saturday. The Sydney, Australia native leads the team with 44 steals. Green is projected as a lottery pick in the NBA draft.
— Washington, which had a nine-game losing streak, finished the regular season with three wins in its last four games. Meanwhile, Arizona had a three-game winning streak before losing three of its last four before postseason play.
— The last time Washington and Arizona met in the conference title, Isaiah Thomas drilled a buzzer-beating game-winning shot to give the Huskies a 77-75 overtime win and the Pac-10 Tournament title on March 12, 2011.
— The Huskies also beat the Wildcats 81-72 in the 2005 Pac-10 Tournament title game and 90-85 in the 2004 Pac-10 Tournament semifinals.
— Arizona senior center Chase Jeter returns Wednesday following a two-game suspension for violating team rules and guard Max Hazzard didn’t play last Saturday for the third time in four games due to personal reasons.
— The Wildcats are the highest-scoring team in the Pac-12, which averages 76.4 points. Arizona is second in the conference allowing 65.1 points against league opponents.
— Arizona is forcing 14.4 turnovers, which ranks fourth in the Pac-12 and is the highest for a Sean Miller-led team.
— This is the second time since the 2009-10 season that Washington will face its regular-season finale opponent in the first round at the Pac-12 Tournament. UW met Oregon State in back-to-back games during the 2009-10 season and captured a pair of wins. In 2016-17, the Huskies lost consecutive games to USC in the regular season and league tournament.