The American rabbi Meir Kahane once said, “No trait is more justified than revenge in the right time and place.” That certainly holds true today for the Arizona Wildcats.
Arizona will be trying to enact revenge on the Wisconsin in a few short hours when the two teams face one another from Staples Center for a trip to the Final Four in Indianapolis on the line.
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These same two teams faced one another in the exact same round of the NCAA Tournament last year. In what turned out be an instant classic, Wisconsin edged Arizona, 64-63, in overtime from the Honda Center in Anaheim.
Out of the four Elite 8 matchups, this probably has been the most discussed. If the game is as good as last year’s, it will certainly live up to the type.
For the Wildcats, one of the biggest keys to winning will be the play of Brandon Ashley. The junior forward missed last year’s game because of a season-ending injury.
In the first three games of this tournament, Ashley has been relatively quiet. He had 14 points and four rebounds in the Texas Southern, but he has had only a total of 15 points and four rebounds in two games since that.
Ashley doesn’t have to put up huge offensive numbers for Arizona win. They have enough offensive weapons to win without him putting up big totals, but he’s going to have to come up big on the defensive end guarding the great Frank Kaminsky.
Kaleb Tarczewski doesn’t have the lateral quickness to guard Kaminsky on the perimeter and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson gives up too much size to the Wisconsin big man in the post. Ashley is the option that Sean Miller has at his disposal to try and limit Kaminsky.
UofA being successful will also hinge on the pace of play. If Arizona can get on the break and take care of their athletic advantage, they’ll be in good shape. If the game is at a slower pace and is lower scoring, it could be tough for the Wildcats.
If Arizona can limit Kaminsky on the offensive end and keep the pace of play to their liking, the probability of them getting that revenge they seek is pretty high.
We will find out in a couple of hours.