What a weekend it was in the NCAA Tournament. Three of the four Pac-12 schools advanced to the Sweet 16. The USC Trojans were the only ones not to make it, but they still racked up two tourney wins anyway.
Here’s a look at how the top three schools in the conference all got through to the second weekend:
Arizona Wildcats vs. Saint Mary’s Gaels
In the West region, the Arizona Wildcats advanced to yet another Sweet 16 under Sean Miller by defeating the Saint Mary’s Gaels by nine points, winning 69-60.
Against the Gaels, it was Allonzo Trier who ultimately put the contest to rest. He scored all 14 points in the second half, going 5-6 from the line, which helped erase the one-point halftime deficit.
But this really was an all-around team effort. Three other players — Lauri Markkanen, Dusan Ristic, and Kadeem Allen — scored in double digits against the school from the West Coast Conference.
What’s up next for the Cats? A date with Miller’s old school: the Xavier Musketeers.
Oregon fought tooth and nail with Rhode Island. For a majority of the game, the Ducks trailed against the Rams’ high-powered offense.
URI put up 46 points on the regular season Pac-12 co-champions. Stanford Robinson — off the bench — and E.C. Matthews put up 13 and 10 points respectively on Oregon in a big first half of basketball.
The Ducks clawed their way back in the second, slowly but surely. And late in the game, Tyler Dorsey made two clutch threes — one that tied the game and another which would be the eventual game winner.
Oregon now has a date with a highly-talented Michigan Wolverines squad who have also had to face a bit of adversity late in the season.
USC Trojans vs. Baylor Bears
The one team to lose in the Pac-12 this weekend were the USC Trojans, although they fought valiantly against the tough Baylor Bears.
At one point, the Trojans were down by ten in the first half. But, as USC did so often throughout the course of their season, they fought back. In fact, during stretches late in the contest, USC had the lead for a good three minutes. It was just not enough as the Bears showed why they are a potential Elite Eight squad.
The Trojans had a good run in the NCAA Tournament, winning two games and upsetting the SMU Mustangs, but it ended after a tough battle with Baylor.
UCLA, perhaps, had one of the easier match ups in the the Round of 32, as they went up against the Cincinnati Bearcats.
That, however, did not play out during the first 20 minutes of action with Cincinnati taking the game to the Bruins. It was a testy first half, with the two schools going back and forth with one another, as neither side could hold onto a lead for a long period of time.
Lonzo Ball took control of the proceedings in the second half though, putting up 11 points with an astounding nine assists, sparking UCLA to victory.
Now, the UCLA Bruins will have a rematch with the Kentucky Wildcats for a spot in the Elite Eight.