NCAA Basketball: UCLA, Arizona advance to Sweet 16
The Pac-12 will have there fair share of representatives in the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament come next week.
UCLA was seen as a team outside looking in prior to the NCAA tournament brackets being released two Sundays ago, but they have taken full advantage of opportunity. The Bruins were able to outlast Larry Brown and SMU on a controversial finish with a goaltending call on Bryce Alford‘s 3-pointer that gave his team a 60-59.
They followed it up on Saturday with an impressive 92-75 win over UAB. Tony Parker led the way with a double-double on a career-high 28 points and 12 rebounds. Parker is only fourth player in UCLA history to have least 25 points and 10 rebounds in an NCAA Tournament game. UCLA is just the seventh team since 2010 to make it to the Sweet 16 as an 11 seed, where they will face ___ in the Sweet 16 in the South bracket.
Arizona, who won both the Pac-12 regular season and conference tournament titles, easily disposed of their first two two opponents in the tournament. In the second round they cruised by Texas Southern 93-72 with Rondae Hollis-Jefferson dropping a double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds.
They followed it with an impressive defensive performance in their 73-58 win over Ohio State. The Wildcats held stud freshman D’Angelo Russell to just nine points on 3-of-19 shooting, and were led by T.J. McConnell, who had 16 points, six assists, and six rebounds. They will face Xavier in the Sweet 16.
Utah squeezed by Stephen F. Austin in the second round with Jakob Poeltl leading the way with 18 points, eight rebounds, and five blocks. The Utes edged 75-64 by Georgetown behind a strong second half Brandon Taylor scoring a team-high 14 points. Their next opponent in the Sweet 16 is a daunting one in Duke.
Finally the last Pac-12 team in the tournament in Oregon played in a tight game in the second round with Oklahoma State, but were able to inch by on the back of Joseph Young. The 2014-15 Pac-12 Player of the year led the charge with 27 points in the win. However, their tournament dreams were ended by Wisconsin led by Frank Kamisky with 17 points and six rebounds.
Bob Garcia IV
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