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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona MBB beats UCLA to win second straight Pac-12 Tournament championship

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Ryan Wohl

The Arizona men’s basketball team defeated UCLA by a score of 61-59 to win the Pac-12 tournament championship on March 11, 2023. 

LAS VEGAS — The Arizona men’s basketball team defeated UCLA 61-59 to win the Pac-12 championship in T-Mobile Arena on Saturday, March 11. This is the second straight year that Arizona beat UCLA to win the Pac-12 Tournament championship.

“So super proud of our guys, and I had a feeling we were going to win today,” Arizona head coach Tommy Lloyd said.

With 16 seconds left in the game, Courtney Ramey hit the go ahead 3-pointer to give Arizona a two point lead and leading to the victory. Ramey up until that point in the game was 0-4 shooting the ball from the three-point line while being held scoreless.

 

When Ramey hit that shot the Wildcat fans in attendance filled the arena with cheers. They call the T-Mobile Arena “McKale North” for a reason, because when the Arizona fans fill the building, many say it feels like being back in Tucson.

“I mean, that’s why I came to this university, I think this fan base is the best fan base in the country,” Ramey said. “For them to drive so far and support us in the tournament, why not play your hardest and give your all, so it means everything to us.”

Kerr Kriisa also hit two big three point shots in the second half after being held scoreless in the first half. Kriisa fouled out within the last three minutes of the contest.

This was the third time this season that Arizona and UCLA faced off against each other. The first matchup Arizona won by 6 points while UCLA won by 9 in the second meeting between the two teams.

Lloyd moves to an undefeated 9-0 record while playing games in Las Vegas.

“I think it says that we have a group that’s built to play in this tournament we’re about to start in,” he said. “There’s no guarantees and you can’t make any assumptions, but I like our ability to win game to game.

Lloyd now has won 61 games during his first two seasons while being the Head coach at Arizona and also back-to-back Pac-12 Tournament championships.

“He’s a player coach, he listens to us, first off, and I mean, I think he’s the best coach in the world right now for college basketball. So he deserves everything that he’s getting so far,” Ramey said.

Azuolas Tubelis won the Pac-12 Tournament’s most outstanding player award. He led the Wildcats to victory with his a performance of 19 points and 14 rebounds against UCLA. This was his third double double during the pas five games. He finished the game 5-17 from the field but was an excellent 9-11 from the free throw line.

Pelle Larsson hit a huge three point shot to give Arizona their first lead of the second half with 9 minutes remaining. Larsson finished the game with 11 points, five assists and four rebounds.

Selection Sunday is tomorrow at 4 p.m. on CBS. Arizona seems to be projected as a No. 2 seed throughout many experts’ brackets up until this point.


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