On Saturday night, one team will be climbing up the ladder to cut the net as Pac-12 Men's Basketball Tournament champs. Senior center Thomas Welsh put up just 2 points on 1-of-5 shooting, but also collected 11 rebounds in 17 minutes of first-half play. Dusan Ristic had eight points and three rebounds.
The Buffaloes made 13 of 21 from the 3-point arc in that victory and their hot shooting continued early against Arizona, making five of their first eight shots.
Magic Johnson's face, one of the most identifiable in basketball history, was in constant awe of a freshman post player from Arizona who he must want to wear a Los Angeles Lakers uniform.
The Bruins appeared to be in upset mode once again during the first half of the Pac-12 Tournament semifinal.
Ayton kept dunking and the crowd kept roaring until the confetti cannons went off.
Top-seeded Arizona smothered USC down the stretch of the Pac-12 Tournament final on Saturday night, handing the Trojans a 75-61 defeat that ended their attempt to secure the conference's automatic berth for the NCAA Tournament. Ayton finished with a career high 32 points and 14 rebounds.
"We moved the ball as a team", Mathews said.
However, the USC Trojans should not be as helpless in stopping Ayton.
The team responded by ripping off six wins in seven games coming into Saturday, including the first road sweep of the OR schools and mountain schools (Colorado and Utah) in conference history.
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"I was crashing the glass, doing my job", Wright said. "And he played like that today", Stanford coach Jerod Haase said. We fought all year, and hopefully we can continue to fight here for a couple more weeks.
NOTES: UCLA G Aaron Holiday joins former Arizona point guards Jason Terry and Damon Stoudamire as conference players who have averaged at least 20 points and 5 assists per game since 1983-84. He had to be helped off the court and didn't return. Metu did not foul out, though. We had ten second shots in the second half. "He's probably the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft".
Arizona won the conference tournament last season.
Ayton, who is widely expected to leave for the National Basketball Association at season's end, pushed his team into the Pac-12 championship with a new season-high scoring total.
The loss left the Trojans, who fell to 23-11 overall, on the bubble of securing an NCAA Tournament berth.
Colorado was 36 of 42 (.857) from the free throw line in its two Pac-12 Tournament games. There wasn't a time where we had any bad looks. Welsh and the rest of Bruins limited the Wildcats to zero offensive rebounds in the first half. But the teams traded baskets for the final minutes. Arizona scored just 13 second-chance points, but the extra possessions added up over time.
McLaughlin scored USC's next seven points as the Trojans trimmed it down to six points, but Rustic and Ayton quickly dragged the deficit up to 12. As of this writing, 80% of betting tickets are on the Wildcats to cover the point spread this afternoon. It mirrored their semifinal win over UCLA on Friday, when they trailed by four points at halftime, before marching out to an 18-8 run to start the second half.
While the 2017-18 season has not been a smooth one for No. 15 Arizona, Sean Miller's Wildcats still managed to win the Pac-12 regular season title by two games. Defensively, Arizona yields 71.8 points per game against the opposing teams. "We stuck together, and you hear it all the time, that adversity can bring out the best in a group, bring a group closer together".