Pac-12 basketball: Seen & heard in Las Vegas

2013-03-16T00:00:00Z 2014-07-08T15:32:53Z Pac-12 basketball: Seen & heard in Las VegasPatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 16, 2013 12:00 am  • 

They can see

Players from three different teams complained in this space about the unusual scoreboard setup at the MGM Grand Garden Arena for Thursday's games.

On Friday, though, the operations staff corrected that. They placed the score and game clock at the bottom of the two video screens in the corners of the arena that showed live statistics. The score and clock replaced advertisements on the boards.

Boyz II Men

It's the most famous group we've seen sing the national anthem before a UA game.

R&B stars Boyz II Men, Billboard Magazine's fourth-most successful music group of the '90s. did a bang-up job. The group - now a trio - sang a melodic gem.

They said "for" instead of "o'er," but that's quibbling.

We - and UCLA forward Travis Wear - heard a woman in the crowd coo. During the national anthem!

"I was cool with it," Wear said. "It was a good performance. I'm sure some of our guys were pretty excited."

Quotable

"I've never paid attention to the media. I don't watch highlights and Bracketology. That's not what I do. … Coach is going to text us. We're going to watch Selection Sunday together and then see who we play and where we play them, and we're going to get prepared for that." - UA guard Mark Lyons, on how he'll treat the next few days

The big number

13

Straight points for UCLA guard Jordan Adams in the second half.

Free throws

Sean Miller was apoplectic after the game about the technical foul he received, but he saved some venom for the disparity in free throws.

The Bruins shot 21.

Arizona shot nine.

"We didn't do a good enough job in getting fouled," Miller said.

UA forward Solomon Hill said that "when you get a team that shoots 21 free throws and you shoot nine, it's kind of hard to pull out that win."

UCLA's Jordan Adams had 13 free-throw attempts.

"Jordan Adams shot more free throws than our entire team," Miller said. "We have two first-team all-conference players right here in Solomon Hill and Mark Lyons. They didn't shoot a free throw in the whole game."

These guys are good

Maybe the most lasting image we'll have of the Pac-12's Las Vegas move came at 11 p.m. Thursday night.

The Washington Huskies were down six in the final seconds of overtime when Andrew Andrews launched a deep three-pointer that went in at the buzzer.

A Huskies fan sitting courtside, a few seats down from Larry Scott, leapt into the air with joy. The fan's favorite team had lost, but with the three, they covered the point spread.

We've been tracking who's been favored, and we gotta say the bookmakers are so accurate, it's spooky. Here's a look at the results from the first two days:

Wednesday

Stanford -3 1/2 over Arizona State - ASU by one in overtime

Colorado -4 1/2 over Oregon State - CU by six

USC -1 1/2 over Utah - Utah by three

Washington -1 1/2 over Washington State - UW by two

Thursday

UCLA -4 1/2 over Arizona State - UCLA by five

Arizona -4 1/2 over Colorado - UA by 10

Cal -7 1/2 over Utah - Utah by 10 in overtime

Oregon -3 1/2 over Washington - Oregon by three

Another quotable

"Peaking? Yes, I guess you can say we're peaking. But I don't want to say that we've peaked yet."- UCLA guard Larry Drew II

Reds

For the first time since Jan. 10, the Wildcats wore red uniforms Friday.

All the better to match the thousands of red-clad UA fans that packed MGM Grand Garden Arena.

UA guard Nick Johnson said he likes the red gear, but that he "wasn't sure" whose idea it was to wear them.

The notion of red being unlucky seems to be a relic from the Lute Olson days.

The Wildcats are 4-2 in cardinal this year, beating Texas Tech, Clemson, East Tennessee State and Miami.

The UA lost at Oregon on Jan. 10.

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