What could be the nation's luckiest unbeaten team received another break of sorts Friday.
Because of new Pac-12 scheduling dynamics, the No. 3 Arizona Wildcats had one fewer day than Utah to prepare for their game today at McKale Center, which effectively meant there was no time to think about Thursday night.
No time to wonder if a three-pointer by Colorado's Sabatino Chen made it off his fingers in time to beat the Wildcats in regulation. No time to wonder what replay angle the officials saw when they ruled he did not get the shot off in time, sending the game to overtime and to a 92-83 Arizona win.
No time to sit around watching ESPN replays or reading any number of countless articles and blogs dissecting it all.
"We've moved on," UA coach Sean Miller said Friday. "We know we were very, very fortunate to win that game. It's very obvious that Colorado was the better team throughout."
Even though he watched replays himself - some of which had indicated Chen did get the shot off in time - Miller stopped short of saying that Chen's shot wasn't good. As he did after Thursday's game, Miller mentioned how many close calls the Buffaloes and Wildcats have already had, not only Thursday but also in a one-point game at Boulder, Colo., last season and in a Pac-12 tournament final that was decided by only two points.
"Sometimes it's not clear who's right and who's wrong," Miller said, "and I think in this case that's probably the case."
Colorado coach Tad Boyle initially complained about the call, telling ESPN even after his McKale Center interviews that college basketball should "get rid" of instant replay, but a Colorado spokesman said Friday he was not available for comment because he, too, was moving on.
And, when Miller and Boyle spoke via telephone on Friday, their conversation was not exactly what you might think.
Boyle told ESPN late Thursday that Miller told him he believed Chen's buzzer three-pointer was good, but Miller said Friday that Boyle explained it differently.
"Tad called me and his only purpose was to say he had been misquoted there," Miller said. "He and I obviously didn't have the opportunity to talk about whether it was good or not. What he said is, 'Sean probably felt on his end that it wasn't good and I felt on my end that it was,' but I think it came out that I agreed with him. I certainly didn't do that and he knew that as well."
Using a replay system that can show more angles than television, officials ruled that Chen's fingertips were still touching the ball when time ran out, a ruling that Pac-12 officials coordinator Ed Rush agreed with Friday.
"Game officials reviewed video replays of the end of regulation in accordance with NCAA playing rules and determined the ball was still on the shooter's fingertips when the official game clock on the floor expired," Rush said in a statement released by the Pac-12. "Per conference protocol, the officials conducted a thorough review courtside and viewed multiple angles of the play before confirming the ruling.
"I have reviewed the video replays and agree with the ruling."
The way Miller looked at it, the game wasn't so much about that one three-pointer that Chen lofted up as much as it was about the 10 of 15 three-pointers that the Buffaloes hit in regulation, a regression to the Wildcats' early-season troubles with three-point defense.
Miller said he was also concerned about the Wildcats' offensive patience, which will be further tested today with a deliberate Utah team that loves to change defenses and holds opponents to an average of just 57 points.
So, for Miller, if not for everyone else, the officiating may have been all but out of his mind by Friday afternoon.
Besides, even though he was a bit upset about an earlier foul called against Mark Lyons when Colorado's Spencer Dinwiddie hit the floor, Miller said the officials did a good job, considering the magnitude of the game and the amount of close calls there were.
"There has to be a winner and a loser and a decision," Miller said. "The winner moves on and says it was a tough call, and the loser moves on and says they got it wrong. It's tough. It's all part of a long season. This won't be the only game that has some controversy surrounding it."
On StarNet: See what others are saying about the replay situation, watch a video of the controversial shot and make your vote in a poll at azstarnet.com/multimedia
• Who: Utah at No. 3 Arizona
• When: 3 p.m.
• TV; radio: Pac-12 Arizona; 1290-AM, 107.5-FM, 990-AM (Sp)