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Pac-12 Tournament Scores: Arizona holds off Colorado, 79-69

Nick Johnson scores 18 and hits several key shots for the Wildcats, who advance to face UCLA in the semifinals.

Jeff Gross

In 2012, Arizona was one of four casualties as red hot Colorado streaked its way to the NCAA tournament by capturing the Pac-12 Tournament title. There would be no repeat in 2013, as No. 4 seed Arizona played like the odds-on favorite to win the tournament in defeating the Buffaloes, 79-69.

Although the Wildcats led virtually the whole way, it was a fantastically entertaining game, with Colorado repeatedly refusing to go away. The Buffs pulled within two on a pair of Andre Roberson free throws with just over a minute to go, but Arizona's Nick Johnson hit the bucket on the next possession made the margin four, and Colorado wouldn't threaten again.

Johnson led the way with 18 points for Arizona on just 6 of 7 shooting. He also had three assists, a steal and a block. Spencer Dinwiddie led four Buffaloes in double digits with 18 points.

The key moment came at the 2:07 mark, when Colorado -- trailing by four -- had played 34 seconds of stellar defense before the ball went out of bounds off a Buffalo. With just one second left on the shot clock, Mark Lyons hit a fall away catch-and-shoot 3 to put the Wildcats up seven. Although the Buffaloes would get within two, those three points certainly kept them from getting over the hump.

Arizona now plays UCLA in the semifinals on Saturday at 6 p.m. PDT on Pac-12 Networks.