A Day After: Arizona vs. Colorado

Arizona was able to defeat Colorado for numerous reasons. Read on for an examination of players, moments, other factors, and more.

Arizona survived another scare on Thursday night when the Wildcats were able to force overtime and then ultimately defeat Colorado. The last few minutes of regulation was littered with controversy, but the only moment the vast majority of observers want to focus on is the bad call (which - let's be honest with ourselves here – it was) at the end of regulation.

There were questionable calls on both ends of the floor and, had that shot counted, many Wildcats' fans would be talking about the Mark Lyons phantom foul with 33 seconds remaining which turned out to be a three-point swing in CU's favor.

Aside from the officials, there was more to the game than what happened in the final minute of regulation. The fact that the Buffaloes blew a 17 point lead should not be ignored. Neither should their 12 missed free throws, including crucial ones down the stretch of the ball game.

It's also worth pointing out that Arizona outscored Colorado in second chance points 17-2. Those are just a few of the other factors that came into play Thursday night.

Arizona deserves credit for mounting the comeback in the first place and finding ways to win games that it would have lost during Miller's first three years.

While people can question whether or not UA is overrated, that discussion is completely pointless in the world of college basketball. The bottom line is that the Wildcats remain undefeated after beating CU and now hold three victories over squads in the top 25 in terms of RPI.

There were several meaningful events that took place and players that stepped up throughout the course of the contest that allowed the Wildcats to mount another big comeback. With the dust settled and a day removed from the outcome, it's a bit easier to look at what else occurred in UA's favor.

Kevin Parrom: Everyone expected Solomon Hill to have a big senior season and most knew Mark Lyons had the talent to produce the way he is, but Parrom was surrounded by uncertainty heading into this season for obvious reasons.

As of late, Parrom has allowed UA fans to rest easy as he has turned into one of the best sixth men in the entire country. Without his effort off the bench in terms of both scoring and rebounding, Arizona loses to the Buffaloes.

Mark Lyons: 24 points and a perfect 10-for-10 from the foul line were Lyons' two biggest contributions. He drew much more contact throughout the game than what was called too.

His fiery personality on the court seems to be one of the biggest sparks the team constantly receives. Lyons' play helped fuel the comeback and gave the Wildcats the victory.

Composure: While there are points during these types of games where Arizona has seemed frustrated, the Wildcats never come unglued and look comfortable on the court at all times, even after mistakes are made. The team never enters panic mode and takes advantage of the opportunities given to them down the stretch, which is something Colorado did not do.

Foul shooting: Colorado missed four more free throw attempts than Arizona despite going to the line seven fewer times. That's generally a recipe for disaster.

Second chance points: Arizona has allowed the opposition to be successful on the offensive glass this season, but Thursday night was one of the better performances UA put forth on the defensive glass.

The Wildcats allowed the Buffaloes to produce just two second chance points, further limiting CU's offensive opportunities. On the flipside, UA grabbed 12 offensive rebounds and turned those into 17 second-chance points.

Coaching: Colorado head coach Tad Boyle can refer to the call at the end of the game until he is blue in the face, but it doesn't change the fact that he was absolutely out-coached by Sean Miller down the stretch of that ballgame, including overtime.

Miller kept his squad composed and preyed on CU's weaknesses over the final 10 minutes of the second half. Boyle didn't keep his team composed and they blew a double-digit lead and, ultimately, the game.

Mental toughness: While most observers will only recall the buzzer beater, there was an extremely bad foul called on Lyons where Colorado's Spencer Dinwiddie did nothing more than slip on his own.

Had the foul not been called, the Buffaloes do not connect on one out of two free throws and UA gets an easy two points. Instead, the call was made in CU's favor that prevented a three-point swing and Arizona had another obstacle to climb.

The difference is that Arizona played through the situation and kept fighting, whereas Colorado folded in overtime and scored three points. For all of the sobbing fans have done for Colorado since the end of Thursday night's game, there is no denying that it wouldn't have come down to that if CU simply takes care of business.

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