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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


MBB Pac-12 championship preview: No. 1 UCLA vs. No. 2 Arizona

Ryan Wohl

Arizona men’s basketball faced off against Stanford University on March 9 at T-Mobile Arena in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament. 

For the third time this season, the Arizona men’s basketball team will face off against UCLA, but this time the stakes are bigger as it is for the Pac-12 Tournament championship on Saturday, March 11, at 8:30 p.m. MST.

Both teams won their semifinals game by 19 points. UCLA beat the University of Oregon 75-56 in the first game of the night. Tyger Campbell led the Bruins in scoring with 28 points while making 4 3-pointers. Talented UCLA freshman center Adem Bona injured his shoulder during this game and his status for tonight’s game is unknown right now.

Arizona beat ASU last night 78-59 after losing to the Sun Devils two weeks ago. Ažuolas Tubelis had 17 points and 9 rebounds as Ballo had a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds. The Wildcats were excellent from deep yesterday while making 10 3-pointers on 52.6% shooting.

The first time Arizona and UCLA played this season, Arizona came out on top by a score of 58-52 in McKale Center. That game took place on Jan. 21. In that contest, the Wildcats held the Bruins trio of Jaime Jaquez Jr., Campbell and Jaylen Clark to 14-48 shooting from the field. Oumar Ballo and Ažuolas Tubelis combined for 30 points and 18 rebounds in that game.

When Arizona and UCLA played against each other for the second time this season, it was a different story. This game happened one week ago today in Pauley Pavilion in L.A. Campbell and Jaquez combined for 43 points in this game as they were dominant.

The Wildcats had trouble taking care of the ball this night after turning it over 17 times. Tubelis was excellent in this contest, scoring 24 points while grabbing 10 rebounds. Kylan Boswell and Pelle Larsson were big contributors in this game, combining for 24 points off the bench.

UCLA leads Arizona 53-45 in the all time series between the two schools. In games played in the Pac-12 Tournament, Arizona is 6-5 against UCLA. Arizona has won the last four meetings that were played in Vegas. The Bruins have won seven of the previous 10 games against the Wildcats.

Arizona is 6-4 in the Pac-12 Tournament championship games and this is their second straight one that they are playing in. Arizona head coach Tommy Lloyd is the first Pac-12 coach to make the Pac-12 Tournament championship game in their first two seasons. If Arizona wins, Lloyd would be the first coach to win this tournament in first each of their first two years. The Wildcats are 11-1 all time as the No. 2 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament.

This game will tip-off at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN with Dave Pasch and Bill Walton on the call. This is the fourth and final day of basketball being held in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

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