No. 8 Arizona beats Arizona St, gets title rematch with UCLA
By MARK ANDERSON
LAS VEGAS (AP) Tautvilas Tubelis scored 17 points and No. 8 Arizona beat Arizona State 78-59 on Friday night in the Pac-12 Conference Tournament semifinals.
The Wildcats (27-6) get a championship rematch with No. 2 UCLA on Saturday night. Arizona beat the Bruins 84-76 last year for the title.
Arizona State (22-12) has to hope its resume is good enough to sway the committee Sunday when it assembles the 68-year NCAA Tournament field.
Arizona second-year coach Tommy Lloyd remained perfect in Las Vegas, where he is 8-0, including 7-0 at T-Mobile Arena and 5-0 in the Pac-12 Tournament.
Oumar Ballo added 14 points, 10 rebounds for the Wildcats. Cedric Henderson Jr. also scored 14 points, and Pelle Larsson had 11.
Frankie Collins and Jamiya Neal each scored 11 points for Arizona State.
Though this game was close most of the way, it wasn't nearly as intense as the most recent meeting. Arizona State won that Feb. 25 meeting in Tucson when Desmond Cambridge Jr. made a 60-foot shot at the buzzer.
Arizona finally ended any doubts with a 12-2 run late in the second half to take a 68-54 lead.
THE BIG PICTURE
Arizona State: The Sun Devils entered the game 11th nationally by holding opponents to 39.3%, but that defense was more than tested by Arizona. The Wildcats shot 56.4%, including 52.6% from 3-point range, and led for all but 1:43 of the game.
Arizona: As well as the Wildcats shot from outside, they were just as dominant inside. They outscored Arizona State 40-22 in the lane and outrebounded the Sun Devils 44-30.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils might have done enough to get in the NCAA Tournament, having beaten Michigan, Creighton and Arizona in the regular season and beating Oregon State and Southern California this week.
Arizona: The Wildcats could get a No. 2 NCAA seed if they beat UCLA.
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Updated March 11, 2023