Stephen Vilardo’s Pac-12 Tournament Championship Recap

The Wildcats claimed the edge over the bruins for the season, Tourney meetings , and titles

Posted on March 13, 2022

  By Stephen Vilardo, SuperWest Sports

In the Pac-12-record 11th all-time meeting between Arizona and UCLA in the Conference Tournament, the Wildcats claimed the edge for the season (2-1), Tourney meetings (6-5), and titles (2-1).

Arizona got off hot, but following the first media timeout they had four empty possessions and Tyger Campbell made the Wildcats pay, scoring five consecutive points to get the Bruins within one at 10-9.

All told, Arizona went four minutes without a field goal before its defense created some offense, but it was a 7-2 run and the Bruins cut the lead to one. We had a game.

Following the second media timeout, things got a little sloppy,  but the Wildcats got a spark from Pelle Larsson. Then he collected his second personal foul and the Bruins took their first lead of the game 18-17.

The lead was short-lived as Arizona got a three and the teams stayed level till the under eight.

Arizona used a 17-5 run to take control | Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports

After taking a five-point lead into the locker room, UCLA opened it up to a 50-39 edge.

Following a Flagrant 1 against Christian Koloko, Arizona came back fighting through the perceived adversity after that cutting the lead to seven at the first media break of the second half.

It turned into a 17-5 Arizona run to build a lead before things settled down.

In the end, the distance the Wildcats put between themselves and the Bruins was too much, knocking down 23 of 28 free throws. With foul trouble, the Wildcats were able to get production from all over the roster.

Dalen Terry chipped in 15 while having to run the point. Bennedict Mathurin scored 27 and hit 13 of his 15 free throws en route to earning the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player award.

He is the sixth player to win the regular-season MVP and Tournament MOP awards.

All-Tournament Team

• Bennedict Mathurin, Arizona (Most Outstanding Player)
• Christian Koloko, Arizona
• Jules Bernard, UCLA
• Jaime Jaquez Jr., UCLA
• Boogie Ellis, USC
• Spencer Jones, Stanford


• Saturday’s win gives Arizona and Tommy Lloyd 31 on the season, the most ever by a first year head coach in conference history.

• It’s the eighth tournament title for Arizona

• The win was the sixth in the tournament for Arizona over UCLA, equaling the Wildcats total over Oregon State and Colorado for the most by a single team over an opponent

• The win was the ninth straight for Arizona in the Conference Tournament as a number one seed.

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