Day three showcased the yin and yang of basketball—one game that was tight for forty minutes, and another that displayed sloppy play and uncharacteristically bad shooting by our own UCLA Bruins.
The first game featured fifth-seeded UC Berkeley against number one seed Oregon. UC Berkeley was able to hang with the Ducks and keep a small lead for most of the first half, despite the fact that their leading scorer, Jabari Bird, left the game with a head injury less than a minute into the game. Oregon also had to deal with a deficit as Dillon Brooks spent most of the second half on the bench due to foul trouble. With less than a minute to go, UC Berkeley closed the gap to only two points, but last minute scoring by Dylan Ennis gave the Ducks a five point lead. Oregon took the game 73-65.
The late game showcased two-seed Arizona and three-seed UCLA in yet another Revenge Tour (thank you, Nirya!) match up. UCLA looked shaky at best in the first half, shooting 42% to Arizona’s 46%. The entire UCLA roster was held to single digits, save Isaac Hamilton, who was able to go into the locker room with 12 points. Lonzo Ball appeared to injure his thumb, which may have affected his shooting, but he remained in the game despite the pain he may have been in. Arizona’s four point halftime lead would only widen in the second half as their shooting improved and UCLA’s continued to drop off. In the second half, UCLA shot just over 40% while Arizona shot a solid 54% and T.J. Leaf fouled out with just over four minutes remaining. The Wildcats wound up taking the game 86-75, and tonight’s point total was the lowest of the season for the Bruins. To cap off a rather unwatchable game, Sean Miller called an inexplicable timeout with .9 seconds remaining, which prompted a rather cold “handshake” between Miller and Steve Alford at the end of the game.
Tomorrow night’s championship game will feature number one seed Oregon versus number two seed Arizona at 8:00 pm PT on ESPN.
Here’s the updated bracket: