John Locher/Associated Press
The Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament continued play on Friday with No. 5 Oregon State facing No. 1 Oregon and No. 3 Colorado taking on No. 2 USC.
Oregon was the only team to advance without much drama, defeating No. 8 Arizona State 91-73.
The rest of the semifinalists survived and advanced. USC needed two overtimes to put away No. 7 Utah, 91-85. Colorado led by 13 in the second half but held on to win 61-58 after Cal’s Makale Foreman missed a late game-tying three-point attempt. Oregon State found itself down 16 but forced overtime and knocked off No. 4 UCLA 83-79.
That drama led us to semifinal action at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Friday. Here’s a look at how that all went down.
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(5) Oregon State def. (1) Oregon, 75-64
(3) Colorado def. (2) USC, 72-70
Pac-12 Tournament Bracket
Oregon State 75, Oregon 64
Senior guard Ethan Thompson led five Oregon State players in double figures with 16 points as the Beavers upset in-state rival Oregon 75-64.
Junior forward Warith Alatishe, who posted a 22-point, 10-rebound double-double in the overtime win over UCLA on Thursday, followed up his performance with 12 points, 12 boards and four assists. Fellow junior forward Rodrigue Andela added 13 points and nine rebounds off the bench.
For Oregon, senior guard LJ Figueroa, senior guard Chris Duarte and senior forward Eugene Omoruyi each scored 14 points to lead the Ducks. Omoruyi added five steals.
The three-point line was the difference in this game, with Oregon State making 10-of-19 from downtown. Thompson went 5-of-8.
Oregon shot 24 percent from beyond the arc, going 6-of-25. The Beavers also grabbed 38 rebounds to the Ducks’ 24.
Oregon only led for 26 seconds after Omoruyi hit a free throw to put the Ducks up 19-18 with 6:21 left in the first half. The Beavers never looked back, however, after sophomore guard Jarod Lucas responded with a three.
Oregon State led by 10 at the half, closing the scoring on a Thompson three-pointer after a Alatishe block and Lucas rebound.
The Beavers never let Oregon come back within seven points in the final 20 minutes. They led by as many as 19 after Alatishe’s rebound and putback:
The Beavers are now one game away from their second NCAA men’s basketball tournament appearance in the last 30 years. They last made the tournament in 2016.
Colorado 72, USC 70
Senior guard D’Shawn Schwartz’s putback slam dunk with 3.3 seconds remaining propelled third-seeded Colorado to a 72-70 win over second-seeded USC.
Senior guard McKinley Wright IV led the Buffaloes with 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting. He hit 4-of-6 three-pointers on a night when the team shot 12-of-24 from downtown.
Wright also came up big on the defensive end, breaking up a pass on USC’s last offensive play to give Colorado the win.
Senior forward Jeriah Horne scored 19 points and hit 4-of-8 three-pointers for the Buffaloes. He has hit 10 three-pointers in his last two games against the Trojans, knocking down six while posting 24 points in a 80-62 win over USC on Feb. 25.
For USC, freshman big man Evan Mobley led the way with 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting, nine rebounds and five blocks.
Colorado led by as many as 14 points late in the first half, but USC chipped away and made it a one-possession game after a three-pointer from sophomore forward Isaiah Mobley cut the deficit to 58-56 with 6:50 left.
However, Horne then went on an 8-0 run thanks to back-to-back three-pointers and a two-point jumper. A two-pointer from junior forward Evan Battey gave Colorado a 68-56 advantage.
USC didn’t go down without a fight, though. Five points from redshirt senior guard Tahj Eaddy and a three from Evan Mobley cut Colorado’s lead to four.
Wright responded with a layup, but Eaddy hit another three-pointer to bring USC within one possession.
A Mobley block (his fifth) and an ensuing defensive rebound off a Wright three-point miss gave USC the ball with the chance to tie, and the Trojans took advantage thanks to an Eaddy three-point play.
In response to Eaddy’s game-tying play, Wright attempted the game-winning shot. His effort was off the mark, but Schwartz was there to clean up the glass and put Colorado into the title game.
With the win, Colorado went 3-0 against the Trojans, who assuredly will earn an NCAA tournament berth as an at-large team. USC will go into the tournament with a 22-7 record. Colorado is also 22-7 after winning its sixth straight game.