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Pac-12 Tournament: Arizona gets chance to avenge Stanford loss after Cardinal beats Utah

pac12-mens-basketball-tournament-2023-recap-stanford-cardinal-utah-utes-arizona-rematch-tubelis Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

LAS VEGAS—Arizona will get another change at revenge, something it has been so good at the past two seasons.

The second-seeded Wildcats (25-6) will face No. 10 Stanford (14-18) in Thursday’s Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals at T-Mobile Arena after the Cardinal upset No. 7 Utah 73-62 in the first round Wednesday night.

Arizona and Stanford only played once in the regular season, with the Wildcats falling 88-79 in Palo Alto on Feb. 11. The Cardinal a season-best 61.1 percent and made 10 of 18 3-pointers, pulling away in the second half after trailing by nine before halftime.

“They have talented players and they have a plan, and when you have talented players and a plan that’s executed, I mean, you can have some tough nights and we did,” UA coach Tommy Lloyd said Tuesday, referring to the Wildcats’ losses to both Stanford and Utah. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to see how we are this time.”

Arizona is 6-0 in revenge games under Lloyd, this season avenging losses to Utah, Washington State, Oregon and (last year’s loss at) Tennessee.

The rematch will also provide Azuolas Tubelis to atone for his worst game of the season, one in which foul trouble contributed him to scoring only four points with zero rebounds in just 17 minutes on the floor. That began a 3-game slump for Tubelis, who since has averaged 22 points and 9.7 rebounds in the past three contests.

“Those three games, I had a stretch where I know I didn’t have points or rebounds,” Tubelis said. “You guys think it was a bad game, but again, to other teams’ credit they scouted me too. They know I’m aggressive defensively, so they got me in foul trouble.”

Against Utah, Stanford shot 41.9 percent and were 5 of 16 from 3 but held the Utes to 37.9 percent shooting and turned it over just four times. The Cardinal have held three of their last four opponents to below 40 percent shooting.