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Arizona hoping to play with pride in Pac-12 Tournament

Arizona coach Sean Miller talks to his team during the first half against UCLA in an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals of the Pac-12 men's tournament Friday, March 9, 2018, in Las Vegas. Arizona won 78-67 in overtime. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

The 2018-19 season has been a disappointing one for the Arizona basketball program.

While head coach Sean Miller continued to deal with the ongoing NCAA college basketball recruiting scandal investigation, the Wildcats failed to find their groove during the regular season and finished 9th in the Pac-12 with a 17-14 record.

With winning the Pac-12 Tournament the only way the Wildcats could appear in the NCAA tournament, the team is looking to take the upcoming tourney one game at a time.

“Two things that we have to be able to control is just playing with great pride,” Miller said in a press conference in Tucson on Monday. “Alongside that pride is playing with great effort, and to look past your first opportunity is foolish whether you’re the one seed or the 12th seed.”

The Wildcats are preparing for their 10th Pac-12 Tournament under Miller and for the first time in those 10 seasons, the team will be without a first round bye.

The Wildcats have become known for their success when it comes to the more recent Pac-12 Tournaments. Over the past six tournaments, the Wildcats have appeared in four championship games and won three Pac-12 titles.

With the USC Trojans being the first task for the Wildcats in the tournament, the team is looking to improve on some of its mistakes from the tail end of the season.

“These last two games we’ve not been able to [control turnovers],” Miller said. “We have too many things that are against us already, we don’t have a large margin for error. Our turnovers really, really hurt us badly.”

In their first matchup, Arizona lost to USC by 23 in January in a game where the Wildcats, without junior center Chase Jeter, were out-rebounded by the Trojans.

According to ESPN, the Wildcats, with Jeter, enter Wednesday’s game as one point favorites.