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Wildcats’ Sean Miller: Eventually ‘an Arizona player is going to punch a fan’ in self-defense

Allonzo Trier’s last-second three-point attempt clanged off the rim and the buzzer sounded at the Coors Event Center. Colorado had completed a 75-72 upset win over ninth-ranked Arizona.

What followed was a good number of the 11,309 fans in attendance storming the court to celebrate with the Buffaloes, who bolstered their NCAA Tournament chances by notching their 20th win.

Court storming has been part of college basketball for a long time, despite the inherent dangers for fans, players and coaches.

Arizona head coach Sean Miller doesn’t like it one bit, and again took the opportunity after the game to sound off on something he feels needs to change.

“Eventually what’s going to happen in the Pac-12 is this: An Arizona player is going to punch a fan, and they are going to punch the fan out of self-defense. And only when it happens will everybody take a deep breath and say, ‘We have to do something to protect both teams so that when the game ends, we have a deep breath to be able to leave the court,'” Miller said. “Or at least shake the other teams’ hands and then get to our locker room. And then, if the court wants to be stormed, fine.”

Miller went on to paint a hypothetical situation using one of his current players, senior center Kaleb Tarczewski, who is 7-foot-2 and 250 pounds. The head coach asked what would happen if Tarczewski was provoked by an exuberant fan during a court-storming.

“What would be the response of our conference,” he asked. “What would be the response? If more teams had the court stormed on them, I wouldn’t be the only guy who is bringing it up. But there’s no sport in the country — football, professional, major-league, whatever — that this happens to the level it happens.”

Miller also made a comment that this has gone on after each road loss Arizona has suffered over the last three years. The coach, who is in his seventh year at Arizona, does have a point. Fans continue to storm the court after a big win, and it’s only a matter of time until somebody gets hurt or, as he suggested, a frustrated player retaliates against a fan.

Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne commented on the situation Thursday morning on Twitter.

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