Courtney Ramey lifts No. 8 Arizona over No. 2 UCLA for the Pac-12 title
LAS VEGAS — Courtney Ramey had missed all four of his previous 3-point attempts when the ball landed back in his hands at the most critical moment.
Ramey shook a defender then calmly drilled one from the top of the key with 16.7 seconds left to put Arizona ahead. The 8th-ranked Wildcats stuck with it, beating the No. 2 UCLA 61-59 in the Pac-12 championship game.
“I kept telling myself the next shot will go in,” Ramey said. “My job was to do a play.”
The Wildcats (28-6) strengthened their case for a No. 2 finish in the NCAA tournament. UCLA (29-5) is still hoping to land the No. 1 West and return to Las Vegas for the regional league in two weeks.
It was the second year in a row that Arizona defeated UCLA in the Pac-12 title game.
Arizona sophomore coach Tommy Lloyd must not lose in Las Vegas. He’s 9-0 in the city, 8-0 in the T-Mobile Arena, and 6-0 in the Pac-12 tournament.
“It was a knockdown, drag out and I had a feeling it was going to be,” Lloyd said. “So much respect for the UCLA program. Obviously they’re going through a lot of injuries right now, but they’re resilient and I knew it would be like that.
Ramey’s 3-pointer gave the Wildcats a 60-58 lead. The clutch shot came after teammate Azuolas Tubelis missed a 3 that rebounded from Pelle Larsson, who brought the ball to Ramey.
UCLA guard Tyger Campbell was fouled with 6.8 seconds left, and he made the first free throw but missed the second. Tubelis hit one of two free throws with 5.8 seconds left and UCLA’s Dylan Andrews missed a 3 on the buzzer to secure Arizona’s win.
“Wide open to win the game,” said UCLA coach Mick Cronin. “Tyger is beating himself up for a missed free throw, but that had nothing to do with some of our bad fouls and defensive breakdowns. Those are controllable. I’m going to take Tyger to the line and jeopardize my career with Tyger on the line.
Tubelis, the tournament’s most outstanding player, had 19 points and 14 rebounds for second-placed Arizona. Oumar Ballo scored 13 points and Larsson had 11.
Amari Bailey led top-seeded UCLA with 19 points. Campbell scored 16 and Jaime Jaquez Jr. had 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The Bruins knew they would have neither guard Jaylen Clark (lower leg) nor Adem Bona (shoulder) and their problems only increased when two of Bona’s substitutes got into trouble in the post.
Mac Etienne and Kenneth Nwuba each had four fouls in the second half, forcing Cronin to play at least one of them. Etienne fouled with 9:35 left and Nwuba with 4:27 left, meaning the Bruins had to play with a smaller lineup for the rest of the game.
Arizona wasn’t entirely healthy either. Point guard Kerr Kriisa played with a stubborn shoulder throughout the tournament.
QUIET AFTER THE GAME
According to UCLA radio station Josh Lewin, an Arizona fan yelled at Cronin’s father, Hep, after the game. As a reporter later told Cronin, he immediately left the post-game press conference. Sports director Martin Jarmond quickly followed him.
Arizona: The Wildcats entered the game just 10 3 points behind their school record, set in the 2010-11 season. But they didn’t notice long-range shots against the Bruins until the end. Arizona went 6 of 20 from beyond the arc.
UCLA: The issue is Clark and Bona’s health. Cronin will not share any information other than saying ahead of the Pac-12 tournament that Clark would not be playing. UCLA was easily the Pac-12’s class this season, but the lack of those players was quite noticeable, especially against Arizona.
Arizona: Will probably be No. 2 in the NCAA tournament.
UCLA: Almost certainly a #1 or #2 in the NCAA tournament.
Courtney Ramey lifts No. 8 Arizona over No. 2 UCLA for the Pac-12 title originally aired on NBCSports.com
https://sports.yahoo.com/courtney-ramey-lifts-no-8-151904799.html?src=rss Courtney Ramey lifts No. 8 Arizona over No. 2 UCLA for the Pac-12 title