Arizona MBB beat UCLA to win the Pac-12 tournament championship


Ryan Wohl

The Arizona Wildcats men’s basketball team celebrates after winning the Pac-12 tournament championship on March 12, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ryan Wohl

LAS VEGAS — Two trophies secured, six more wins for the third and final prize, a national championship.

The Arizona men’s basketball team are Pac-12 tournament champions after winning a close battle against the UCLA Bruins 84-76. This marks the first time that the Wildcats have won both the Pac-12 regular season championship and tournament championship in the same season since 2018. This is the second time that the Wildcats defeated the Bruins in the current season.

“It shows the the grit, the integrity, the character of these guys so you know, obviously I’ll probably get pretty emotional a few times but I feel it coming on,” Lloyd said. “But I mean, I love those guys and you know, for them to believe in me and, and our staff, It’s it’s been a special year and I mean I’ll always remember these guys and be thankful.”

Two of Arizona’s key players,  Pelle Larrson and Dalen Terry got in foul trouble early in the game. Larrson had three fouls while Terry picked up two during the first 14 minutes of the contest. This allowed freshmen Adama Bal come into the game and get some more minutes then usual. Bal hit two three pointers immediately when entering the game to inject some energy into this Wildcat team .

The Bruins outscored the Wildcats 40-35 during the first half of action because of Johnny Juzang’s incredible play. He scored 11 points on 5-8 shooting from the field in the first 20 minutes of the game and looked like the player we are used to seeing.

Arizona was excellent for there second straight game from the free throw line, finishing the game 23-28 which is good for 82 percent. Bennedict Mathurin was terrific in this game and showed everyone once again how good of a player he truly is. He scored five quick points with 14 minutes left in the game and ignited the crowd in T-Mobile arena.

“He’s got a great competitive spirit to him and I’m so happy for how far he’s come, he’s well deserving” Lloyd said.

Christian Koloko followed Mathurin up with a huge slam dunk to give Arizona a one-point lead with under 12 minutes to play. Wildcat fans took over the building and from then on, all I heard was “U OF A” chants. Koloko had 13 points along with 10 rebounds in the game to give him a double-double.

“We just We love each other we trust each other. So wherever what’s called, like we going to play hard we gonna fight together and try to get the win” Koloko said.

The Wildcats were great from deep tonight, finishing the game 7-14 (50%) from there.  Mathurin led the team with 27 points along with seven assists. Terry scored five key points late in the game to give Arizona a six-point lead. He totaled 15 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds in the game.

“Just you know, a lot of people that didn’t think we were going to be as good as we are right now.. but It was just about getting better every game and every practice,” Mathurin said. “Im pretty happy with the results we got.”


This game gave the fans everything they wanted to see and more. The contest was a close battle throughout the game and the crowd’s energy gave it a legit big game feel. Jules Bernard led the Bruins in scoring with 19 points on 6-12 shooting from the field.

Arizona has won the regular season Pac-12 championship and now the Pac-12 tournament championship in Tommy Lloyd’s first season in Tucson. The Wildcats were announced on Sunday afternoon as the No.1 seed in the South region of the March Madness tournament.

They will play They will play the winner of the No.16 seed first four matchup between Bryant and Wright State. Lloyd becomes the third coach in college basketball history to get a No.1 seed in the NCAA Tournament in while being a first year head coach. The last time it happened was in 1998 when Bill Guthridge at North Carolina received a No.1 seed in the field.

The Wildcats round of 64 matchup will be in San Diego, California on Friday March 18 at 4:27 P.M. MST on truTV.

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