LOS ANGELES--UA's men's basketball team inched closer to its NCAA West Regional matchup against No. 7 and 2-seed Ohio State with a pair of workouts and the attendant open-practice day media festivities here at Staples Center.
No. 21 Arizona, the West's 6th seed, plays its Sweet 16 regional semifinal against the Buckeyes at 4:47 p.m. (PDT/MST) Thursday. The winner advances to an Elite Eight showdown Saturday against the winner of the La Salle-Wichita State game which follows the Cats-Buckeyes tilt at Staples.
UA awoke for an 8:30 breakfast after chartering to the area around 9 p.m. Tuesday from Tucson, then practiced for about 90 minutes at USC's Galen Center before moving a few miles away to 19,282-seat Staples Center for the NCAA's prescribed 50-minute open session.
Head Coach Sean Miller had some private time with Turner-CBS producers and talent on site for the event -- announcers Kevin Harlan, Len Elmore, Reggie Lewis and Lewis Johnson on the TV side, and Wayne Larrivee and former ASU coach Bill Frieder who are hand for the NCAA Radio broadcast.
Miller and players Solomon Hill, Mark Lyons and Nick Johnson took part in some formal podium time in the interview room while UA's locker room -- that used normally by the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL -- was open to the media for half an hour to allow interviews of all players and coaches.
That's all preparation for all parties with regard to coverage of the event, while Miller, staff and the Wildcats began the final steps of mental and physical readiness for the serious NCAA tournament competition against the highly regarded Buckeyes.
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