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Arizona to face UCLA in Pac-12 Tournament semifinals

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The Wildcats lost to the Bruins in Tucson back in February

NCAA Basketball: UCLA at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

LAS VEGAS — There are only two Pac-12 teams the Arizona Wildcats haven’t beaten this season — one of them is the UCLA Bruins.

But Arizona will get another shot at them Friday when they will battle in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals.

UCLA beat Stanford 88-77 in the quarterfinals, while Arizona beat Colorado 83-67.

The Bruins upset the then-No. 13 Wildcats 82-74 in Tucson back in February. UCLA point guard Aaron Holiday had 17 points and 8 assists in that contest, and he posted 34 points in UCLA’s win vs. Stanford.

So slowing him down will be paramount for Arizona if it’s going to avoid a second loss to the Bruins.

So will defending the 3. UCLA sank 11 of 24 3-pointers against the Wildcats in Tucson, as Arizona posted one of its worst defensive performances all season. It was so bad Arizona even resorted to zone at one point.

“I was in search of answers,” head coach Sean Miller said after that game. “Between switching ball screens across the board, to playing the 2-3 zone and mixing in a press. Anything to maybe spark a comeback, but we didn’t have it.”

Arizona (25-7) turned in a solid defensive performance against Colorado in the quarterfinals, holding the Buffaloes to 67 points on 42 percent shooting, so maybe it will have better luck against UCLA (21-10) the second time.

Friday’s tip-off is set for 6 p.m. PT in T-Mobile Arena. It will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.


Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire