Final: Arizona advances to the Pac-10 tournament championship game with a 67-62 win over USC.
Derrick Williams led the Wildcats with 20 points and six rebounds. Kevin Parrom also had six boards.
The Pac-10 regular-season champs will face the winner of tonight’s Washington-Oregon game for the tournament title tomorrow at 3:10 p.m.
Here’s what Arizona coach Sean Miller had to say about that:
Means a lot. We came here trying to separate our regular season championship and pursue a quest for the conference tournament championship. You have that postseason now, and these guys understand that from this point forward after a lot of hard work and a great regular season, that when you lose, you go home. We talked a lot about trying to be at our best.
Derrick and Jordin can answer this better maybe, but I thought our last experience when we came to Los Angeles losing to both USC and UCLA, good teams. But the way we played, I thought part of what’s helped us here this weekend is we came here trying to be better than we were a couple weeks ago, and our team’s more together, has a really great mindset.
Like I said, if there was a total team win we had this season, tonight was the night.
Game 1 The Wildcats and Trojans have tipped off. The winner will face the UW-Oregon winner at 3 p.m. Saturday for the conference title.
Halftime: Arizona, 33-28.
Pregame: The third day of the Pac-10 tournament will begin at 6 p.m. with No. 4 USC meeting No. 1 Arizona. No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 3 Washington will follow around 8:40 p.m.
Unfortunately for the Trojans, coach Kevin O’Neill will not be with the team tonight.
The Pac-10 has released this statement in the Staples Center press room:
“It is an unfortunate circumstance, but we are in complete agreement with (USC) Athletics Director Pat Haden’s decision,” said Commissioner Larry Scott.
“It’s our highest obligation and responsibility to set a good example for our student-athletes as we prepare them for productive lives beyond college athletics. We commend USC for its actions.”