Four Thoughts: Washington-Oregon State & UCLA-Arizona

Posted by Connor Pelton on March 9th, 2012

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.

March Madness in full swing as (from left to right) Challe Barton, Rhys Murphy, Kevin McShane, and Angus Brandt celebrate Oregon State's 86-84 win over Washington. (credit: Jae Hong)

  1. 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 »
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