The first two games of the Pac-12 reminded us of why we love this time of year. Four extremely talented teams were playing their hearts out for different things. Washington needed to avoid a bad loss to clinch an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament; Oregon State needed a win to get onto the NIT bubble; Arizona needed a win to keep alive its NCAA Tournament hopes; and UCLA needed a win to stay in the NIT field. Here are four things that stood out in the first two quarterfinal games.
- Oregon State’s resiliency (part two) — We mentioned yesterday how resilient Oregon State was when it could have just rolled over after giving up a 16-point lead against Washington State. Today was almost an exact replica of yesterday’s game (except played better). Oregon State led by as many as 15 before Washington went on a 33-10 run to lead 66-58 with 8:50 remaining. The Huskies were hitting everything they threw up, Oregon State was turning the ball over, and the pro-Washington crowd was on their feet. Once again, it looked as if the Beavers were ready to call it a season. Instead, Oregon State was able to force some turnovers and began knocking down their shots. Before you knew it, Jared Cunningham put home a layup to put the Beavers ahead 84-83 with 30 seconds to play. Over the next half-minute, both teams would miss a combined 10 free throws. But when it was all said and done, it was Oregon State dancing off the court with an 86-84 victory. Read the rest of this entry »