Colorado guard McKinley Wright IV had 20 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds to lead a balanced attack and the Buffaloes rode hot shooting from the 3-point line to a 97-85 victory over the Arizona State Sun Devils in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Wednesday afternoon.
Dominique Collier had 17 points, Tyler Bey had 14 points and 10 rebounds, George King and Lucas Siewert had 12 apiece and D’Shawn Schwartz tied a career high with 10 points for the Buffaloes (17-14), who made 13-of-21 from 3-point range, one make short of their season high.
Collier hit three 3s and Wright, Siewert, Schwartz and King had two apiece.
Freshman Remy Martin scored 20 points and Tra Holder, Kodi Justice and Shannon Evans II had 14 points apiece for the Sun Devils (20-11), who have lost five of their six but still are projected to be in the 68-team NCAA Tournament field announced Sunday.
Colorado, which had lost four of five, will meet regular-season champion No. 15 Arizona (24-7) in the first quarterfinal Thursday. The teams split the season series, both winning at home.
Colorado is the only team since the league expanded to 12 teams in 2012 to win the tournament without getting a bye in the first round. The Buffaloes won four games in four days, beating Arizona in the final.
There were 12 lead changes in the first seven minutes of the second half before Schwartz made two 3-pointers around a Wright layup to give Colorado a 66-60 lead and force an Arizona State timeout with nine minutes remaining.
Namon Wright hit a 3 and King made a layup for a 71-61 lead with 7:40 remaining, and the Buffaloes maintained their margin before a slam by Tyler Bey made it 84-71 with 1:54 remaining.
Bey made a dunk on an alley-oop feed with seven seconds remaining, after which Holder and King had to be separated. Both teams were assessed technical fouls. Holder did not participate in the postgame handshake line.
Arizona State made 12 of 21 free throws, going 1-for-7 during the stretch when Colorado built a 75-66 lead with 3 1/2 minutes remaining.
Colorado had a 39-26 rebounding edge and led 41-27 at halftime.
—Field Level Media