Editor's note: Deseret News' Carter Williams is covering the Pac-12 Tournament. Here are his updates from the Pac-12 quarterfinals held at the MGM Arena in Las Vegas on Thursday.
Game 4: No. 3 California 76, No. 6 Oregon State 68: Ivan Rabb scored 21 points, including two huge baskets in the final 2:31 to help lead California to a 70-63 win over Oregon State Thursday night, as the Golden Bears snuck past the Beavers to reach the Pac-12 semifinals.
California (23-9) led 34-30 and most of the second half, but found itself down 62-60 with 4:48 left in the game. However, the Bears outscored OSU (19-12) 16-6 the rest of the way to pull out the victory.
Jaylen Brown hit three free throws at the 4:29 mark that gave California the final lead that it would hold onto.
Rabb also pulled down 15 rebounds in the game. The Bears shot 44 percent from the floor in the win. Jabari Bird added 20 points.
Former Salt Lake C.C. standout Gary Payton II led the Beavers with 20 points and 17 rebounds.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game, just like the previous two. They make you take tough shots. They put pressure on. They're physical without fouling and have one of the best guards in college basketball. ... This time of the year, it's anybody's game. We had to be locked in and I thought our guys did a great job down the stretch finding a way to get a win." — California head coach Cuonzo Martin
"I think the first thing when you have one of the best bigs in college basketball — he can score, he can pass it, rebounds the basketball, makes a great decision with the ball. So when you double him, you have to be very careful. They have guys that can make shots. I don't think Brandon Taylor gets the credit he deserves, in my opinion. A tough, hard-nosed guy. Makes big plays (and) big shots. I think those two guys make them go. Other key guys, they understand their role and they know what to do to be successful as a team. So that's one of the teams that you have to beat them. They won't give you the game." — Martin, on what challenges he sees in facing Utah
Game 3: No. 2 Utah 80, No. 7 USC 72: Kyle Kuzma scored 23 points on 11-of-12 shooting from the floor as Utah pushed past USC 80-72 Thursday evening to move on to next round of the Pac-12 tournament.
Utah (25-7) led 41-33 at halftime after a wild first half with 14 lead changes and five ties (the first six games of the conference tournament combined for just nine lead changes). The Utes ended the opening half on a 9-0 run.
Utah maintained that lead in the second half, pulling as to a 13-point lead at the 11:50 mark of the second half. USC chipped away, cutting that lead to 66-60 after a 3-point play by Trojan guard Jordan McLaughlin with 5:42 left to play in regulation.
USC trimmed it to a 69-67 game two minutes later on a McLaughlin layup, but Kuzma answered with a 3-pointer. After another USC basket, Brandon Taylor canned a 3-pointer with 1:42 to extend Utah's lead to 75-69 and the Utes rolled from there to advance to the Pac-12 semifinals.
Utah shot 61 percent from the floor in the win. Jakob Poeltl added 14 points and eight rebounds, while Lorenzo Bonam added 14 points as well.
"I think we've got a mature group that doesn't put their guard down very often and these guys want to taste some success. They've figured out how to do that." — Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak
"(It was) hard-fought for 40 minutes. They made a couple huge shots down the stretch and we cut it to 2 points, a 30-footer with the time expiring and 3-pointer by Kuzma really gave them the cushion they needed. I give (Utah) credit. They're a very good basketball team." — USC head coach Andy Enfield
"I was just confident. I just thought I had an open shot." — Utah guard Brandon Taylor, on his long 3-pointer with 1:42 left to give Utah a two-possession lead
"Oh, I felt like Steph (Curry)." — Utah guard Lorenzo Bonam, on hitting his first four shots from the field
Game 2: No. 4 Arizona 82, No. 5 Colorado 78: Though it wasn't easy in the closing minutes, Arizona led wire-to-wire in an 82-78 win over Colorado Thursday afternoon, advancing to play No. 1 Oregon in the Pac-12 semifinals Friday.
Arizona (25-7) opened the game on a 13-2 run in the first six minutes of the game and led by as much as 22 points before taking a 37-20 advantage into halftime.
However, Colorado (22-11) whittled away at its deficit in the second half, closing within seven points on multiple occasions in the final five minutes of regulation before Xavier Talton banked in a layup with 40 seconds left that cut Colorado's gap to 74-69. After free throws and other buckets, George King canned a 3-pointer with three seconds left to make it an 80-78 game, but it was the closest the Buffaloes got in a losing effort.
Arizona shot 46 percent from the field while Colorado hit just 34 percent of its shots. Allonzo Trier led the Wildcats with 23 points, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range and 15 points in the second half.
"I was really excited about our team at halftime. I thought our defense was as good as it has been all year. You could see we had a group that was committed and really played with tremendous energy. We decided to trap the post more. It was effective. We were more aggressive on their ball screens than in Boulder. ... But I question our effort wholeheartedly in the second half. I think they scored 58 points in the second half and their second shots. I mean, they shot 45 shots from the field in the second half and we shot 17. Our guys certainly did not play hard and play together in the second half defensively." — Arizona head coach Sean Miller
"I think (the fans) did a great job today, especially in the second half when we were down. They brought us energy; they brought us passion and I think it was really key for them what they did. They helped us finish out what wasn't a good half for us and helped us finish out the game." — Arizona guard Allonzo Trier, on how Arizona's crowd (which comprised about 75 percent of the arena) affected Arizona's play
"Short answer: Yes. The realistic answer is it doesn't matter what I think." — Colorado head coach Tad Boyle, on if he believes Colorado will receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament on Sunday
Game 1: No. 1 Oregon 83, No. 8 Washington 77: Chris Boucher scored 19 points and pulled down 11 boards, and Oregon iced the game with late free throws, as the No. 1 seed Ducks thwarted No. 8 Washington 83-77 Thursday in the Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals.
Washington jumped out to a 23-14 start in the first 7:39 of the game. The lead increased to 12 points with 6:26 left before Oregon closed out the half outscoring UW 20-7 to a take a 39-38 lead into halftime, including a 13-0 run from the 5:59 to the 2:21 mark of the half.
After a tight battle to start the second half, Oregon began to pull away in the second half, leading by 11 points with 8:17 left in regulation. The Huskies cut that deficit to 73-71 with four minutes left in regulation after Andrew Andrews went on a spurt of 12-straight points for UW. Down 79-77, Huskies forward Marquese Chriss missed a dunk that would have tied the game with 1:05 left to play.
Oregon then closed the game out at the free-throw line.
The Ducks (26-6) outrebounded Washington 46-33 in the win. There were six lead changes in the game after the four games played in the opening round of the tournament combined to yield just three lead changes.
Boucher became the first player in Pac-12 history to pick up 30 made 3-pointers and 100 blocks or more in one season.
"(The Huskies) were really trying to keep their season going. It was a tough matchup for us, but I liked our effort. The guys on the boards were really good. We had bad turnovers today; we really didn't get make good decisions. We'll need to clean that up, but our effort on the boards I thought was the difference in the game and we were able to make just enough plays to get by." — Oregon head coach Dana Altman
"Those teams are really tough matchups for us and we would have to play well against either team to put ourself in position to win. Both teams are very well coached, talented and it would probably help us if they went four or five overtimes today to take their legs just a little bit." — Altman, on playing either Arizona or Colorado in the conference semifinals
"At this point, I think we have to wait and see what happens on Sunday. Regardless of the situation at hand, I wouldn't think we're done playing basketball this year." — Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar, on UW potentially going to the NIT