UCLA advanced to the championship of the Pac-12 Tournament with a dramatic come-from-behind, 66-64 victory over Arizona. It was the second consecutive game in which the top-seeded Bruins fell behind, only to mount a furious comeback to pull out the win.
The Bruins took a two-point lead on a putback by Kyle Anderson with 24 seconds remaining. Arizona had a chance to tie or win on the final possession, and Solomon Hill got a relatively clean look from just inside the arc, but it rimmed out. Grant Jerrett's tip wasn't close, and the Bruins were able to escape yet again.
The Wildcats lost mostly because of self-inflicted wounds. They turned it over on about 20 percent of their possessions, and there was one in particular that was incredibly costly. Clinging to a two-point lead with a little over four minutes to go, Mark Lyons drove into the lane. Lyons bobbled the ball after a UCLA defender got a hand on the ball, came down, and went up again. None of the three referees saw the poke on the ball and called double dribble.
Miller, rightly incensed, protested. Pac-12 officials, as they are wont to do, continued to insert themselves into the game and called a technical foul, which Jordan Adams promptly turned into a pair of points to tie the game. It would see-saw from there, with the two points from the technical foul ultimately providing the winning margin.
"The reason I got a technical foul is because I said, he touched the ball. He touched the ball," Miller said after the game. Like in other words, Mark Lyons dribbled and by the way when you show the replay here on ESPN in a few seconds, he touched the ball. He touched the ball. He touched the ball. He touched the ball.
"That's a hard one now when you work August, September, October, November, December, January, February, and here we are. My man over here (Solomon Hill), he's never coming back here again. His coach gets a technical foul. Didn't cuss. Didn't challenge him. By the way, it's my first technical foul of the year. That's what this is about. And by the way, full credit given to UCLA. They did a great job."
It wasn't all good news for the Bruins, however: Adams, who was the main catalyst for UCLA with 24 points, reportedly broke his foot on the Wildcats' final possession and is lost for the season.
Brandon Ashley led four Wildcats in double figures with 15 points.
UCLA advances to face the winner of Utah and Oregon in the championship game on Saturday night at 8 p.m. PDT on ESPN.