Spencer Dinwiddie, Angelo Chol, Mark Lyons, Nick Johnson

Colorado will ultimately go as far as Spencer Dinwiddie takes them

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During pregame warmups for tonight’s game between No. 9 Arizona and Colorado someone posted the score “Colorado 3, Arizona 0” on the scoreboard. That obviously is in reference to the Sabatino Chen three-pointer that was waved off at the end of regulation in Arizona’s 92-83 overtime win in the first meeting between the two teams.

The Buffaloes were fired up for the rematch and the play of Spencer Dinwiddie and Xavier Johnson played a major role in their ability to even the score.

Dinwiddie gave the Wildcats fits in ball screen situations for much of the night, finishing with 21 points and seven assists, and Johnson added 19 to go along with nine rebounds in the 71-58 victory in Boulder.

As a result of the victory the Buffaloes took a major step towards ensuring their second consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament while also keeping them within two games of first place in the Pac-12 standings.

Colorado made sure Arizona had no chance of making another improbable rally due to their execution on both ends of the floor. The Buffaloes shot 50% from the field and 9-of-17 from beyond the arc, and defensively they limited Arizona to 42.3% shooting (and 5-of-19 from three). Solomon Hill led the Wildcats with 12 points and Mark Lyons added 11, with Colorado making them work for every basket.

Xavier Johnson entered Thursday’s game averaging of 7.7 points per game, and the matchup with Arizona is a good one for the 6-6 freshman forward. In the first meeting he finished with 13 points and six rebounds, and he was even more productive in the rematch while also cutting down on the freshman mistakes that were an issue back in January.

But if this current run of six wins in their last seven games shows anything it’s the importance of Dinwiddie, who scored 25 points despite dealing with foul trouble on Sunday night to push Colorado past Oregon State. Over the last seven games Dinwiddie is averaging 16.4 points and 4.0 assists while shooting 52.6% from the field.

Players such as Johnson, Andre Roberson (seven points, 13 rebounds), Askia Booker (ten points) and Josh Scott are important cogs in the Colorado attack, but the Buffaloes will ultimately go as far as their sophomore point guard takes them.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

VIDEO: Arizona State’s Torian Graham dunks over teammate

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Arizona State fans won’t get a chance to see Torian Graham take the floor this season, but he did sky over fellow teammates (and transfer) Shannon Evans on Friday night at the team’s Maroon and Gold Madness. The 6-foot-4 Graham is a former Buffalo commit — Evans also came from Buffalo — and both players will have to sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.

Graham hasn’t had a chance to get into a Division I game, but he’ll be able to play for the Sun Devils next season. For now, fans can look forward to Graham’s athleticism on the wing in pregame dunk routines.

A former top-100 prospect, Graham also pulled off this ridiculous move in the dunk contest.


VIDEOS: Bill Self makes two skits, Bragg plays piano

Bill Self
AP Photo
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Kansas head coach Bill Self is known for being unique for the annual Late Night at the Phog and this season, he went with some parody videos centered around the recent DirecTV ads. In the two skits, Self plays himself — which acknowledges his many accolades — while playing alongside “short shorts Bill Self” and “graduate assistant Bill Self”.

Hard to say if these videos top Self showing up in a suit like Andrew Wiggins last year, but there do have good promotional value for the program and Self.

Kansas players also had their chance to shine, with both men’s and women’s teams doing dances. Perry Ellis and Jamari Traylor also attempted to lip sync to Michael Jackson. Freshman forward Carlton Bragg showed some solid ability on the piano, which got the crowd going. Bragg was also one of the strong points in a scrimmage.

Of course, the highlight of the night is Bill Self losing $10,000 on a halfcourt shot, but here’s everything else notable from Late Night at the Phog.