NEW YORK, NOV. 22 -- A preview of the NCAA championship game? That's what Friday night's preseason NIT final between No. 2 Arkansas and No. 3 Arizona could be.

Especially with top-ranked Nevada-Las Vegas, last season's NCAA champion, on probation and ineligible to defend its title.

Arkansas and Arizona each has won three tournament games impressively, averaging more than 100 points. The Razorbacks and Wildcats have met three times but not since 1967.

Although neither reached the 100-point plateau in the semifinals -- Arkansas beat No. 6 Duke 98-88 and Arkansas routed Notre Dame 91-61 Wednesday night -- the Razorbacks are averaging 105 points, the Wildcats 100.3.

The championship matchup has all the characteristics of an outstanding game -- Arkansas' muscle and quickness against Arizona's speed and size.

"They're quicker, we're bigger," Arizona Coach Lute Olson said after the Wildcats handed the Irish their worst defeat in nearly nine years. "The biggest thing is the quickness aspect, but I don't think we're slow."

"We're playing good basketball, but we've got to keep up the intensity level against Arkansas," Chris Mills said after scoring 25 points, 15 on three-pointers, against Notre Dame. "I don't think they can stop our big guys {Sean Rooks and Brian Williams} and we probably can't stop their running game. The key is to slow down the tempo in the first half."

"A lot will depend on how well we can handle their various pressures," Olson said. "And we're going to have to get back" against the fast break.

"When we had the opportunity to play in the NIT, we said that if we could get four good, solid games, it would pay off for us down the line. Playing Arkansas will be good for us. You don't learn anything by beating teams by big numbers."

The numbers for Notre Dame were ugly. The Irish hit only 36.1 percent (26 of 72) of their shots and had 18 turnovers. Their two big scorers, LaPhonso Ellis and Elmer Bennett, were shut down. Ellis scored five points, all in the second half, and shots two of 12; Bennett missed all seven of his shots.

Arkansas went nearly a half without its big man, 6-foot-9, 295-pound Oliver Miller. He incurred two personal fouls with 2:23 gone and sat out the rest of the half. That gave Isaiah Morris, a transfer from San Jacinto Junior College, an early chance to play. And he made the most of the opportunity.

Morris keyed Arkansas' comeback from a 24-13 deficit with 13 points and seven rebounds, as the Razorbacks forged ahead, 44-41, at halftime. They never lost the lead. Morris finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Todd Day led Arkansas with 21 points.

"Morris changed things our way," Razorbacks Coach Nolan Richardson said after his team avenged a 97-83 loss to Duke in last season's NCAA semifinals.

"I just wanted to come in, work hard and get some defensive rebounds," Morris said. "I thought that's all we needed. But I got some open shots."

Day, Arkansas' leading scorer last season, was held to five points in the first half before breaking loose for 16 in the second.

"It was a chaotic game," Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "No five-man team can beat them. They have athletes like we've never seen."