Ramey lifts No. 8 Arizona over No. 2 UCLA for Pac-12 title
LAS VEGAS — Courtney Ramey made a 3-pointer with 16.7 seconds left to put Arizona in front and the eighth-ranked Wildcats beat No. 2 UCLA 61-59 on Saturday night in the Pac-12 championship game.
The Wildcats (28-6) boosted their case for a 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 the regional.
It was the second year in a row Arizona beat UCLA in the Pac-12 title game.
Arizona second-year coach Tommy Lloyd can't lose in Las Vegas. He is 9-0 in this city, 8-0 at T-Mobile Arena and 6-0 in the Pac-12 Tournament.
Ramey's 3-pointer put the Wildcats ahead 60-58. The clutch shot came after teammate Azuolas Tubelis missed a 3 that was rebounded by Pelle Larsson. He tossed to Ramey, who shook a defender and connected from the top of the key.
UCLA guard Tyger Campbell was fouled with 6.8 seconds left, and he 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 victory.
Tubelis had 19 points and 14 rebounds for second-seeded Arizona. Oumar Ballo scored 13 points and Larsson had 11.
Amari Bailey led top-seeded UCLA with 19 points. Campbell scored 16 and Jaime Jaquez Jr. totaled 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The Bruins knew coming in they wouldn't have guard Jaylen Clark (lower leg) or Adem Bona (shoulder), and their problems only mounted when two of Bona's replacements in the post got into foul trouble.
Mac Etienne and Kenneth Nwuba each had four fouls in the second half, forcing coach Mick Cronin to play at least one of them. Etienne fouled out with 9:35 left and Nwuba with 4:27 remaining, meaning the Bruins had to play with a smaller lineup the rest of the game.
Arizona wasn't completely healthy, either. Point guard Kerr Kriisa has been playing with a balky shoulder this tournament.
Arizona: The Wildcats entered the game just 10 3-pointers behind their school record set in the 2010-11 season. But long-range shots didn't fall for them against the Bruins until the end. Arizona went 6 of 20 from beyond the arc.
UCLA: The question is the health of Clark and Bona. Cronin won't provide any information other than saying before the Pac-12 Tournament that Clark wouldn't play. UCLA was easily the class of the Pac-12 this season, but not having those players was quite noticeable, especially against Arizona.
Arizona: Likely will be a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
UCLA: Almost certainly a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the NCAA tourney.