EUGENE, Ore. -- Arizona will face either Utah or Washington in their Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinal game on Thursday at noon in Las Vegas.
The No. 8 Utes and No. 9 Huskies tied for eighth place in the conference but the Utes will get the No. 8 seed because they beat UCLA and Washington did not. Tiebreakers are settled by head-to-head competition (they split) and then how each team did against teams at the top of the standing, on down until the tie is broken.
In this case, though the eighth-place tie means nothing except uniform color since the eighth and ninth-place finishers face each other.
The Utes, who lost in overtime to Arizona on Feb. 19, finished the season strongly, winning three of four games since then -- and only lost by a point today at Stanford.
Because they played a weak nonconference schedule, the Utes (20-10) may need to win the Pac-12 Tournament to reach the NCAA tournament.
Here is the schedule for the Pac-12 tournament:
Wednesday, March 12
Noon: No. 8 Utah vs. No. 9 Washington, Pac-12 Networks
2:30 p.m.*: No. 5 Colorado vs. No. 12 USC, Pac-12 Networks
6 p.m.: No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 10 Oregon State, Pac-12 Networks
8:30 p.m.*: No. 6 Stanford vs. No. 11 WSU, Pac-12 Networks
Thursday, March 13
Noon, 8-9 winner vs. No. 1 Arizona, Pac-12 Networks
2:30 p.m.* 5-12 winner vs. No. 4 California, Pac-12 Networks
6 p.m.: 7-10 winner vs. No. 2 UCLA, Pac-12 Networks
8:30 p.m.: 6-11 winner vs. No. 3 ASU, Pac-12 Networks
Friday, March 14
6 p.m.: 1-8-9 winner vs 4-5-12 winner, Pac-12 Networks
8:30 p.m.*: 2-7-10 winner vs 3-6-11 winner, Fox Sports 1
Saturday, March 15
3 p.m.: Championship game, Fox Sports 1
*or 30 minutes after completion of the previous game, whichever is later.
So what happened today at Matt Arena? Let Sean Miller count the ways: He referenced these numbers several times during his postgame comments to the Star:
14 -- turnovers, nine of which came in the first half.
8 -- the number of fewer rebounds than Arizona had over Oregon in the second half (after UA outrebounded the Ducks 22-14 in the first half.)
10- Oregon three-point shots, the most UA has allowed all season. Michigan hit eight on Dec. 14 in UA's 72-70 win at Ann Arbor.
2 -- Three pointers UA made in 11 tries, with Aaron Gordon missing all four he took and Nick Johnson going 1 for 3.
A lot of those differences, Miller indicated, came from the supercharged atmosphere the Ducks played in, as well as their Senior Day and the need to win to ensure an NCAA tournament bid.
"Oregon had certainly a great set up today, a fantastic crowd," Miller said. "You’re catching them on senior night, with quite a few seniors playing their last home game and obviously playing for the NCAA tournament.
"They were a highly motivated group and with that I thought we had to be at our best and we weren’t. They’re a difficult matchup in terms of their perimeter. The fact that they made 10 threes against our defense -- that hasn’t happened all year. No question that was a huge difference in our game. Then nine turnovers going into halftime and five more in the second.
"They kind of stripped us of our pace, (we had) 14 turnovers and 10 threes made by them. They were a very hard playing, quick, desperate team and we tried our best but we weren’t at our best and I give Oregon credit."
Even though Dusan Ristic was all but set to play at Arizona from the moment he left Serbia in January, his visit didn't hurt the Wildcats any.
Ristic visited with his parents last weekend and watched UA's Pac-12-clinching win over Stanford, telling the Star via Skype (he doesn't have a U.S. phone yet) this afternoon that he was impressed.
"I didn't want to talk with other schools; I just talked with Arizona before I came here," Ristic said. "I think they have amazing facilities for basketball and everything I need to become a better player.
"It was amazing, really. I had some photos and videos of Arizona but when I was in Tucson, I saw amazing basketball facilities, a beautiful city and everything was very nice."
Although Ristic actually played club ball with former UA forward Ivan Radenovic, he said it was UA associate head coach Joe Pasternack who first interested him in the idea of coming to play at Arizona. He said Radenovic did speak highly of the Wildcats, however.
Here's the Oregonian's game story.
And the official box score.
Elsewhere around the Pac-12:
-- Before beating Colorado, Cal may have found an answer for its troubles... in laser tag.
-- Roberto Nelson answered the bell in overtime as OSU beat ASU.
--The Cougars calmed down and upset UCLA.
-- C.J. Wilcox went out in Senior Day style as Washington beat USC.
-- Stanford played with desperation in a win over Utah.