Washington wrapped up the regular-season with a satisfying 82-75 win over USC on Saturday thanks to a brilliant 24-point outburst from C.J. Wilcox.
Every Pac-12 team was in action during a jam-packed Saturday, which included two overtime games, two upsets and three contests decided by two points or less.
SUNDAY MORNING LINKS:
— Did Washington State’s stunning 73-55 upset over UCLA save Ken Bone’s job? Not sure about that. But the win did allow the Cougars (10-20, 3-15) to avoid a last-place finish in the Pac-12. And the victory snapped an eight-game losing streak as WSU’s heads into the conference tournament with the No. 11 seed. Que Johnson scored 14 points, including four 3-pointers, Ike Iroegbu had 14 and D.J. Shelton finished with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
— Husky fans are asking where was this UCLA team on Thursday? After jumping out to an early 9-0 lead, the Bruins went cold from the field. UCLA fell behind 26-24 with with 3:36 left in the half and never led again. The Bruins finished the half wrong side of a 16-2 run and trailed 34-26 at the break. Kyle Anderson scored 19 points and Bryce Alford had 10 for UCLA (23-8, 12-6), which is the No. 2 seed in the conference tourney.
— Oregon opened the regular season with a 13-game winning streak. They closed it with seven straight victories. The Ducks may have stumbled in the middle, but reserve guard Jason Calliste says the Ducks still belong in the national conversation — especially after a 64-57 win over No. 3 Arizona in the regular-season finale. He made the go-ahead jumper and free throw with 4:22 left and finished with 18 points for the Ducks, who trailed by as many as 12 points. Johnathan Loyd added 16 points. After the win, fans rushed the court at Matthew Knight Arena. The win likely secured an at-large NCAA berth for Oregon (22-8, 10-8), but it didn’t do much for its seeding in next week’s Pac-12 tourney. The defending champion Ducks are the No. 7 seed.
— No. 3 Arizona had won five straight and had a sixth consecutive in sight when it led 44-36 with 11:55 left. However, the Wildcats were outscored 28-13 the rest of the way. Aaron Gordon had 21 points. Motivation might have been in short supply for Arizona (28-3, 15-3), which had already clinched the Pac-12 regular-season title and No. 1 seed heading into next week’s conference tournament.
— Dwight Powell made a go-ahead free throw with 36.1 seconds remaining after Stanford missed seven consecutive from the line and the Cardinal held on to beat Utah 61-60 at Maples Pavilion in the regular-season finale. Chasson Randle delivered down the stretch on the way to 22 points and forced a turnover with 1.8 seconds left as Utah couldn’t get a shot off in the waning seconds with a chance to win. Stefan Nastic took advantage of Utah’s soft front line and added 14 points. Stanford (19-11, 10-8) is considered a NCAA tournament bubble team and will likely need at least one more to secure an at-large berth to the Big Dance. The Cardinal are the No. 6 seed in the conference tourney.
— Dallin Bachynski hit the tying free throws with 55.4 seconds left but Utah couldn’t make a play when it mattered most. Brandon Taylor scored 14 points and Delon Wright 12 for the Utes (20-10, 9-9), who finished tied with Washington for eighth place in the standings. Utah is the No. 8 seed in the Pac-12 tourney and will face No. 9 UW.
— Justin Cobbs made a pair of free throws with 20.8 seconds left in overtime and California kept alive its slim NCAA tournament hopes with a 66-65 win over Colorado at Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bears (19-12, 10-8 Pac-12) scored seven points in overtime, all on free throws. Cobbs made four of them to overcome a cold night from the floor and finished with 21 points and four assists. Richard Solomon (14 points and 12 rebounds) and David Kravish (14 and 12) both had double-doubles for Cal, which snapped its three-game losing streak. The Bears will be the fourth seed in the conference tournament and could face Colorado in rematch in the Thursday’s quarterfinals.
— Colorado (21-10, 10-8) blew a chance at earning a first-round bye in the Pac-12 Tournament. The Buffaloes are the fifth seed next week and will face No. 12 USC. Colorado will lament its inability to play defense without fouling in the regular-season finale. Cal’s last basket came at 2:44 in regulation. The Buffs led by three (63-60) in overtime, but couldn’t pull it out. Xavier Johnson scored 24 points.
— Roberto Nelson wrapped the Pac-12 scoring title and led Oregon State to a 78-76 overtime victory over Arizona State at Gill Coliseum. He scored six of his 15 points in the extra period, including the go-ahead free throw with 2:50 remaining. Eric Moreland added 16 points and a career-high 19 rebounds for Oregon State (16-14, 8-10), which is the No. 10 seed in the Pac-12 tourney.
— Arizona State (21-10, 10-8) has a first-round bye and the No. 3 seed in the conference tourney. However, the Sun Devils have lost five straight road games. Jahii Carson led ASU with 24 points and Jonathan Gilling added 20 for ASU.
— It’s always fun at the end of the year to go back and look at the preseason picks. For the most the media nailed it this season.