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Kansas, UA to battle for ĪBig Easy' berth

By Maxx Wolfson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday March 28, 2003

ANAHEIM, Calif. ÷ It would have been a rematch either way.

If Duke had pulled out the win, UA could have tried to avenge a 10-point loss in the 2001 NCAA Championship game.

Where and When . . .

Who: UA vs. KU
When: Tomorrow, 5:05 P.M. MST
Where: Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim
TV: CBS (national)
Who to watch:
UA- Channing Frye
KU- Nick Collison

But the Dukies didn't.

After beating the Blue Devils 69-65, Kansas will try to get revenge against a Wildcat team that embarrassed it at home ion national television in January. Arizona outscored the Jayhawks 67-30 in the game's final 25:41 en route a 91-74 victory in Lawrence.

"Arizona is another great program," Kansas guard Aaron Miles said. "It's good to get a rematch but it's not only a rematch but a step closer to our goal."

The Wildcats will have to contend with KU senior Nick Collison, who proved he was one of the country's best players last night, scoring a career-high 33 points and grabbing 19 boards.

"With it all on the line, if you lose you are gone, and I will be proud of this one for a long time," UA senior Luke Walton said.

The game starts at 5:05 p.m. MST.

Stoudamire out for redemption

For the first time in his UA career, sophomore Salim Stoudamire fouled out of a game.

"I was mad," he said. "People call us a soft team and the referees call soft fouls. It's hard to play like that. It's frustrating when you nick a guy and they call a foul."

Since he was in foul trouble, Stoudamire played only 19 minutes yesterday. He said luckily he would get a chance to get back out there again.

"All that matters is we get to play (tomorrow)," he said.

If history is any indication, the Wildcats will want Stoudamire on the floor as much as possible. In the Jan. 25 game at Kansas, Stoudamire scored 32 points including 6-of-9 from 3-point land.

The Īspurt of death' rises again

Earlier in the season, UCLA senior Jason Kapono called it the Īrun of death'. For Notre Dame, it was the spurt that slammed the door on the Irish's season.

The same culprit that has hurt so many Arizona opponents this season once again took its toll against the Irish.

A 22-3 run in the first half gave the Wildcats the cushion they would need to cruise the rest of the night.

"The key to our run was just staying on them," senior Luke Walton said. "It makes teams tired. If we can keep up the defensive intensity, that's when we go on runs and limit teams to one shot, so I think they got a little tired because we kept that up."

Another 16-3 spurt in the second half distanced the Wildcats even further from Notre Dame.

A memorable start.

Senior guard Jason Gardner became the all-time leader in career starts for a UA player, with 134.

The start record is just another in a long line of records the Indianapolis native holds. He is already the school leader in minutes played (4,571), and average minutes per game (35.5).

UA fans quiet during nightcap

Since the UA game ended 30 minutes before the start of the Duke-Kansas game, the Wildcat fans that stuck around for the double-header were pretty quiet.

Most Arizona fans wanted to see a matchup against Duke, but didn't care either way.

"I wanted Duke just so we could beat both teams," said UA alumnus Dave Tyler "With Kansas there will be the revenge factor and we will beat them badly again."

Freshman Chris Rodgers wanted to get a chance to beat Duke since he hasn't had the chance to play them yet.

Regardless, the Wildcats have a date with the Jayhawks with a ticket to New Orleans on the line.

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