Obinna Oleka scored a career-high 27 points to help lead the Arizona State men's basketball team to a 98-88 overtime win over Stanford in the first round of the 2017 Pac-12 Men's Basketball Tournament at T-Mobile Arena Wednesday afternoon. They will play the victor of Stanford vs. Arizona State in a quarterfinal matchup on Thursday. Arizona held steady at No. 7, as did UCLA at No. 3.
The Sun Devils scored seven straight points in the final 76 seconds to beat Stanford at home February 11.
No. 3 UCLA, No. 5 OR and No. 7 Arizona each get a bye into the quarterfinals along The Strip, kicking off a stretch of three games in three days for an eventual champion that will have a strong case for the top seed in the West Regional.
It became evident in the preseason that the Sun Devils' strength was in their abundance of athletic and experienced guards - four of them, three who primarily play the point: juniors Tra Holder, Shannon Evans II and Kodi Justice. The Sun Devils took a 50-42 lead into halftime.
Which brings me back to Fultz and Ball - the dynamic point guards who are spending their only seasons of college basketball in very different ways. Rebounding against the bigs of OR will the key for the Sun Devils. The Pac-12 Player of the Year scored a team-high 27 points, including the final 12 OR points. The way the Bruins having been playing lately, though, they are clear favorites to advance to the semifinals to face the Wildcats.
Realistically, it was pretty incredible the Beavers were in the game at that point, seeing as Eubanks left early in the second half with an injury. As it would turn out, Holder's free throw to cap a three-point play with 3:47 remaining would be the last points ASU would score until the eventual overtime period. UCLA shows some more value at +170, entering the conference tournament on a nine-game winning streak. Travis worked in tandem nicely with Humphrey, as Humphrey added 18 points and the two big men combined for 18 rebounds. Humphrey had eight points during the run, including a jump shot with four seconds left to send the game to overtime. It looked like a mismatch that Cal should have run away with on paper. The top four seeds: Oregon, Arizona, UCLA, and Utah, all have a bye today and will learn their first opponents after the results from round one.
Even when the Bears tried to pull away, the Beavers stayed on their heels, keeping the game closer than expected.
The UCLA Bruins are ranked number three overall in the national polls going into the Pac-12 tournament.
Cal sophomore forward Ivan Rabb, an all-conference first-team selection, led the Bears in scoring in both games.
With White shooting and dishing, Colorado hit 15 of 28 shots in the second half to complete the comeback, earning a spot in Thursday's quarterfinals against No. 7 Arizona.
1 seed for this week's tournament. Charles Callison and Ike Iroegbu scored 16 points each, and Josh Hawkinson had 12 points and 12 rebounds.
"So I think we've improved, but that doesn't mean much when you're not winning games", said Tinkle, whose team was 1-17 in conference play, with a February 19 home win against Utah.
The coach points specifically to rebounding as the area his team has made the biggest improvement and focused on being better at in conference play.
The Buffaloes started to fight back late in the half, closing within 41-27. Ducks guard Tyler Dorsey was 6-6 from 3-point range! White had 13 points in that stretch. Jabari Bird completed a three-point play with 54 seconds to play and added another free throw with 35.8 seconds left to put the Bears ahead 63-57.
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