Colorado fifth-year senior forward Xavier Johnson is one of those McKale Center villains Arizona fans love to hate.
It appears Johnson will not get one last crack at a win in Tucson. He was ejected for fighting (a flagrant 2 foul) tonight at ASU in a 78-77 loss. According to the NCAA rules book, that means he should be suspended for the next game, which happens to be at Arizona on Saturday night.
Here’s the rule (Section 5, Article 11):
Johnson, who missed last season nursing a torn Achilles’ tendon, scored 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting for the Buffaloes tonight but was ejected along with ASU’s Jethro Tshisumpa after an altercation with 1:27 left in the first half.
Johnson got into a tussle with Tshisumpa after driving strong near the Colorado baseline.
Referees cleared the floor and spent several minutes reviewing video of the incident and conferring at length. The decision was a technical foul on each player and flagrant two foul on both of them, sending both to the locker room.
The outcome favored the Sun Devils because Johnson averages 14 points per game, while Tshisumpa scores only one point per game.
Johnson is best known for his bravado after a 69-57 loss on Jan. 24, 2014 against then-No. 1-ranked Arizona in McKale Center.
Johnson told reporters afterward: “We have better players than them, I think.” He said the Buffaloes proved they can beat Arizona after allowing the Wildcats only two offensive rebounds in the second half.
He added that Colorado would win a month later in Boulder, Colo., in a “20-point blowout.”
Arizona defeated Colorado 88-61 at the Coors Events Center in that rematch.
“I don’t like Arizona and they don’t like me,” Johnson said.
The Wildcats, who do not travel to Boulder this season, may not face Johnson again until possibly the Pac-12 tournament in March in Las Vegas.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.