|ESPN.com: Forde||[Print without images]|
|Russ Pennell couldn't have dreamed of this scenario five months ago.|
“ Everyone says we didn't deserve to be in, but we proved we deserved it. ” -- Arizona's Zane JohnsonGiven a shot at the big tournament, Arizona shut up its critics in resounding fashion. They got this game in hand quickly and never surrendered control, leading for the final 37 minutes and 15 seconds. "Everyone says we didn't deserve to be in, but we proved we deserved it," Johnson said. "We knew all along that if we got in, we could win." Now the critics have no choice. The time has come for praising Arizona. Said point guard Nic Wise, who scorched slower Utah for 29 points, to the Arizona doubters: "Thank you. It fueled us. Hopefully, they filled out their brackets right." Fact is, Vegas disregarded seeding and made this game pretty much a toss-up. But it really wasn't even that close. Arizona unleashed its pressure, trapping defense and knocked Utah back on its heels right away. "We came out and hit them right in the mouth with our press," Johnson said. "We were flying around." Pennell got his players flying with a little motivational tactic before leaving the locker room. Usually, the Wildcats go over the fine details of the scouting report after warm-ups -- but this time, they returned to the locker room and found that Pennell had wiped the board clean. "You got it all in your minds," Pennell told his team. "Let's just go play." Actually, that's what Arizona did. Looking completely unburdened by any expectation or pressure, the Wildcats broomed the last remaining representative of the Mountain West Conference out of the Dance.
|Nic Wise was too much for the Utes to handle on Friday.|