March 23, 2018

No. 15 Arizona, USC battle for Pac-12 crown

12 March 2018, 02:38 | Darnell Patrick

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Aaron Holiday played all 40 minutes in UCLA’s 88-77 win over Stanford in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament. The junior guard led all players with 34 points

There shouldn't be a debate whether the gargantuan freshman is the most dominant player in college basketball.

While USC punched its ticket to the Pac-12 Tourney title game by cruising past No. 6 seed OR with a 74-54 victory in Friday's semifinal, Arizona had to sweat it out 'til a dominant overtime performance clinched the 78-67 win over UCLA. He's dating a former Arizona soccer player. This was the third straight year, and sixth time in seven seasons, the Buffaloes and Wildcats have met in the Pac-12 Tournament. The Bruins missed seven shots in the extra period, including six from 3-point range.

WHAT IT MEANS: The Buffs arrived in Las Vegas knowing they needed to win four games to earn an NCAA Tournament automatic bid, or win one or two games to put them in the NIT mix.

"It took me a few seconds to realize what happened", Arizona center Dusan Ristic said. "UCLA did not score in overtime". We weren't good enough rebounding the ball all game long. "He kind of lit a fire under us".

The Trojans were out-rebounded 39-22 and allowed Arizona to shoot 56% from the field. Welsh already had 11 rebounds by halftime, almost outrebounding the Wildcats.

USC and Arizona stayed locked in a tight contest as the Trojans took a 33-30 lead into the break.

"I can't tell you how proud I am for us coming together", Stanford's Reid Travis said. "If you're our team, you can't do that".

Ayton was simply unstoppable, scoring 32 points on 14-of-20 shooting while pulling down 18 rebounds, eight of them on the offensive end.

"They're an elite-level shooting team with arguably the best point guard in the country".

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The Trojans also have played without Bennie Boatright since February 15, when he suffered a season-ending knee injury, and backup point guard Derryck Thornton missed the semifinals due to an illness. Aaron Holiday is looking like an absolute superstar.

On the season, USC basketball averages 78.2 points, 34.7 rebounds and 16.0 assists per game.

Jackson-Cartwright, Ayton, Alkins, Allonzo Trier and Keanu Pinder all spoke after the game.

"I love playing against great players; I've been doing it all my life", he said.

Additionally, if you want to watch a replay of any game, DVR can be added when signing up for your free trial. While both teams have a reason to be optimistic in terms of defense (UCLA has their performance against Arizona in the first matchup, and Arizona has their recently improved play), the most likely outcome is that both offenses take over, Ayton and Holiday-the conference's two best players-go back-and-forth, and this turns into a shootout that comes down to the final possessions.

He would produce the worst offensive game of his tenure at Arizona.

Miller called a timeout with 4.7 seconds left to set up the last play. The overtime game against the Bruins helped UA learn some more about itself as it heads into Saturday's game and next week's NCAA Tournament. "It's right that he won the Pac-12 player of the year".

Only had six turnovers and 10 total personal fouls. Holiday entered Friday's game averaging 20.1 points and 5.8 assists.

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