Game 3: No. 7 Oregon upsets No. 2 UCLA, 76-59. Ducks meet UW-WSU winner at 8:40 p.m. tomorrow for the right to go on to the championship game.
Game 2: Arizona wins easily, 78-69. Will meet USC in the semifinal tomorrow.
UA coach Sean Miller sent his team to the court with these words: "Gentlemen, this is a big stage. I've got news for your: Get used to it."
OSU coach Craig Robinson: Well, we'd certainly much rather be playing tomorrow. For a while there I was excited about what was going on in there. But a stretch there where they banged three threes and it seemed like we couldn't get past the 10-point stretch.
I'm looking at the stat sheet and see we go 6 for 16 from the foul line and you lose by, and there you have it right there. Given the youth of the team and the effort, I couldn't be happier the way this all ended up for us.
Certainly, I would have loved to have won more games in the conference, especially on the road for these younger guys. When you see these guys to my right, the future's bright. I'm sorry that we're not continuing on, but I'm happy as heck that we've got next year.
Miller reaction:We came out of the gates in the beginning of the second half and made those three threes, I think it was in a row. To me that was the separation that we really never relinquished. We weren't perfect. We were sloppy at times. Thought we had a couple of guys that didn't play as well as they were capable. In March it's about if you win or lose, if you lose, you're gone, if you win you have a chance to play for another day. I think we all know we're in for a difficult challenge against a very good USC team tomorrow.
Game 1: USC beats Cal, 70-56.
Maurice Jones leads the Trojans with 16 points, but Donte Smith, Alex Stephenson and Jio Fontan also scored in double figures. Nikola Vucevic did not: seven points. Stephenson added 16 rebounds.
Cal freshman-of-the-year Allen Crabbe led all scorers with 21 points.
My feeling is that UW fans should probably start pulling against the Trojans now. Assuming UCLA and Arizona are certain to make the NCAA tournament even as at-large teams, UW probably doesn't need this tournament's automatic bid going to someone like USC, which would force the Huskies to become the fourth team from a league that may not merit four slots.
USC coach KEVIN O'NEILL: I think our team defensively after we got our feet on the ground, we don't have many guys that ever played in a tournament. We didn't handle the start very well, but we did keep playing hard defensively. We ground them out, and it gave us a chance to win going down the stretch because we were so on good defensively. Had guys not stepped up and done their job on the defensive end of the court as much as we missed Nick in there with all the foul trouble, we'd have had to play him. And we didn't want to play him with two fouls in the first or three until the second.
These guys here stepped up big time as did the rest of the team. I thought their effort was tremendous, and we need to make sure we have that same kind of effort tomorrow no matter who we play.
Cal coach MIKE MONTGOMERY: Well, USC played well. They deserved to win. They played better than we did. They were very well prepared, so no issue there. We didn't play, I don't think, like we're capable of. I think our inability to score the ball early really got to us. I think it hurt our confidence.
I don't think that we at that point we seemed to lose a little bit of steam because we couldn't get the ball to where we wanted to. We turned it over too many times which led to some of their points. Not a ton, but some.
We weren't up to the task today. We knew we had a tough job. We knew that SC was playing very well. We knew they were coming off some big wins in Los Angeles. Just a lot of stuff. We knew we were going to have to play well, and we didn't play well enough to win. So give credit to SC. They beat us, and they deserve to move forward.
Morning, Day 2Cal and USC are about to tip off for the first of four games today at the Pac-10 tournament. Arizona and Oregon State will go at 2:40, UCLA and Oregon at 6, and of course, Washington-Washington State at 8:30 p.m. ... or so.
We'll keep this blog post open most of the day for occasional updates on what's going on. Then we'll open a UW-WSU game blog for more focused coverage around 8 or so.