Courtney Ramey lifts No. 8 Arizona over No. 2 UCLA for Pac-12 title

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LAS VEGAS – Courtney Ramey had missed all four of his previous 3-point attempts when the ball was back in his hands at the most crucial moment.

Remy shook off a defender and then calmly missed one from the top of the key with 16.7 seconds left to put Arizona in front. The eighth-ranked Wildcats defeated No. 2 UCLA 61–59 in the Pac-12 championship game.

“I kept telling myself, next shot,” Rami said. “My job was to make a play.”

The Wildcats (28-6) bolstered their case for the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. UCLA (29-5) still hopes to land the No. 1 seed in the West and return to Las Vegas in two weeks for a regional.

It was the second year in a row that Arizona defeated UCLA in the Pac-12 title game.

Arizona’s second-year coach Tommy Lloyd can’t afford to lose in Las Vegas. He is 9-0 in the city, 8-0 at T-Mobile Arena and 6-0 in the Pac-12 tournament.

Lloyd said, “It was a knock down, drag out and I had a feeling this was going to be it.” “So much respect for the UCLA program. Obviously, they’re going through a lot of injuries right now, but they’re resilient and I knew it was going to be like that.

Ramey’s 3-pointer put the Wildcats ahead 60–58. The clutch shot came when teammate Azuolas Tubelis missed a 3, which was rebounded by Pelle Larsson, who passed the ball to Remy.

UCLA guard Tiger Campbell was fouled with 6.8 seconds left, and made the first free throw but missed the second. Tubelis hit one of two free throws with 5.8 seconds to go, and UCLA’s Dylan Andrews missed a 3 at the buzzer to ensure Arizona’s win.

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“Wide-open shot to win the game,” said UCLA coach Mick Cronin. “Tiger was beating himself up over missing the free throw, but it had nothing to do with some bad fouls and defensive breakdowns on our part. They are controllable. I’ll take Tiger on the line and put my career on the line with Tiger on the line.

Tubliss, the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, had 19 points and 14 rebounds for second-seeded Arizona. Omar Ballo scored 13 points and Larsen added 11.

Amari Bailey led top-seeded UCLA in scoring with 19 points. Campbell scored 16 and Jaime Jacquez Jr. had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

The Bruins knew they would not have the safety of Jaylen Clark (lower leg) or Adem Bona (shoulder) for the foreseeable future, and their problems only increased when two of Bona’s replacements in the post got into foul trouble.

Mc Etienne and Kenneth Nuba each committed four fouls in the second half, forcing Cronin to play at least one of them. Etienne fouled out with 9:35 left and Navuba fouled out with 4:27 remaining, meaning the Bruins had to play the rest of the game with a smaller lineup.

Arizona was not completely healthy either. Point guard Kerr Krissa playing with a sore shoulder during the tournament.

ruckus after the game

According to UCLA broadcaster Josh Levine, after the game an Arizona fan was yelling at Cronin’s father, Heap. When a reporter later told Cronin, he immediately left the postgame news conference. Athletic director Martin Germond quickly followed him.

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Arizona: The Wildcats hit 10 3-pointers in the game, just behind their school record set in the 2010-11 season. But the long-range shots didn’t fall for him until the end against the Bruins. Arizona went 6 of 20 from beyond the arc.

UCLA: The health of Clark and Bona is in question. Cronin would not provide any further details ahead of the Pac-12 tournament other than to say that Clark would not play. UCLA was easily the class of the Pac-12 this season, but the absence of those players was quite noticeable, especially against Arizona.


Arizona: Will likely be the No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament.

UCLA: Almost certainly the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Courtney Ramey lifts No. 8 Arizona over No. 2 UCLA for Pac-12 title originally appeared