UCLA advances to Pac-12 title game with rout of Stanford

LAS VEGAS — Clear your schedules, everyone. The Pac-12 Tournament is going to end in style.

The two best teams in the conference will meet at the MGM Grand Garden Arena at 3 p.m. Saturday, with top-seeded Arizona matching up against No. 2-seed UCLA.

Stingy defense versus prolific offense.

On Friday night, the Bruins romped to an 84-59 blowout of Stanford — shooting a season-high 65.2 percent in the most lopsided game in league tourney history. Two hours earlier, the Wildcats had shut down Colorado, 63-43, holding the Buffs to a season-worst 29.4 percent shooting performance.

They marked the sixth and seventh of 10 games at the Pac-12 Tournament decided by at least 11 points. Continue reading

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Notes and quotes: UCLA falls short in 79-75 loss to Wildcats

– UCLA can be a much better rebounding team than it has been all season, though what it’ll take to keep that effort consistent is unclear.

Arizona entered the game averaging a +12.1 rebounding margin to UCLA’s +4.3, but it was the latter that held a 20-19 edge on the glass at halftime. The Bruins came out strong on the boards, visibly making the extra effort to box out or jump up and tip the ball to a teammate.

They were especially good on the offensive board, grabbing 16 for the game. The team ended up just one rebound shy of Arizona’s 37.

– Pauley Pavilion was louder than it had been in years, with an announced sellout crowd of 13,238. Continue reading

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What to watch: UCLA vs. No. 1 Arizona

UCLA (12-2, 1-0) vs. No. 1 Arizona (15-0, 2-0)
When: Thursday, 6 p.m., Pauley Pavilion
TV: ESPN (Dave Pasch, Bill Walton)
Radio: AM 570 (Chris Roberts, Tracy Murray)

In today’s Los Angeles Daily News, a look at some of the most memorable moments of the UCLA-Arizona rivalry.

No. 1: Battle of the bigs. Arizona’s frontline is almost certainly the best in the Pac-12, especially with the addition of forward Aaron Gordon. The 6-foot-9, 225-pound true freshman hasn’t quite matched the hype of a future lottery pick, but he plays with non-stop energy and is still averaging 12.4 points, 1.0 blocks, and a team-high 8.0 rebounds.

Slot him into the lineup alongside sophomores Brandon Ashley (6-foot-8, 230) and Kaleb Tarczewski (7-foot, 235), and it’s no surprise that the Wildcats clean the glass more thoroughly than any team in the conference. Arizona’s offensive rebounding percentage of 41.4 ranks eighth in the country. The Pac-12′s next-best team is Colorado, which sits way down at 57th (36.2 percent). Continue reading

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Pac-12 links: Former Ute succumbing to cancer

– Bronzell Miller might be dead by the time you read this. The former Utah linebacker is battling multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells, and may only have a week left to live.

– Bellevue standout and UCLA recruiting target Budda Baker is still waiting for the release of his brother Robert, imprisoned for first-degree robbery and possession of a firearm.

– How did Tad Boyle turn Colorado into a contender?

– “But the difference between being a head football coach in college and the NFL is like the difference between Wal-Mart and Wall Street.” Continue reading

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Pac-12 links: Who will head to the Rose Bowl?

– Why Stanford will beat Arizona State for a Rose Bowl berth, according to the Bay Area News Group’s Jon Wilner.

– Steve Sarkisian has already hired two members of his Washington staff. Might defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox be the next to head to USC?

– An older man kicked a younger man in the face at last week’s Territorial Cup game between ASU and Arizona. Continue reading

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Eddie Vanderdoes: Huskies’ skill players than Oregon’s


UCLA defensive end Eddie Vanderdoes has already faced Oregon’s offense, currently ranked third in the country in points per game (51.7) and second in yards (596.6). He thinks Washington’s compares favorably — at least at certain positions.

“I think they have the most electric players we’ve seen this season,” the true freshman said. “I think more so than Oregon. Continue reading

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Pac-12 links: Utah quarterback Travis Wilson struggling

– Once a rising star, Utah’s sophomore quarterback Travis Wilson doesn’t look the same these days.

– A strong column from the Arizona Daily Star’s Greg Hansen, on the Wildcats’ loss to UCLA.

– After a stint at Louisiana-Monroe, Arizona State defensive back Robert Nelson is living the dream in Tempe.

– Does the Pac-12 need an injury report? Seattle Times columnist Bud Withers says yes, citing the status of Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. Continue reading

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