The Oregon Ducks (22-8, 10-8 Pac-12) saved their best for last, upsetting the No. 3 Arizona Wildcats (28-3, 15-3 Pac-12), 64-57, Saturday in Eugene.
Arizona was up 50-48 with a little over five minutes to play, but its offense completely dried up as the game wore down. There was a seven-minute stretch in the second half during which the Wildcats failed to record a field goal, per Hoops on CBS:
Oregon countered the star power of Arizona with a total team performance. Aaron Gordon had 21 points for the Wildcats, but after him, their top stars left a lot to be desired. Nick Johnson had 11 points on 4-of-12 shooting. Exacerbating his bad performance was the fact that Gabe York failed to score a single point, per Zack Rosenblatt of the Arizona Daily Star:
Nick Johnson is allowed to have bad games. Arizona can still win. But not when Gabe York goes scoreless.— Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt) March 8, 2014
Johnathan Loyd capped off senior night for the Ducks by scoring 16 points, adding two assists and three steals. Mike Moser had a double-double in his final home game with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The star of the night came from out of nowhere.
Jason Calliste had a huge game off the bench for the Ducks. He led the team in scoring with 18 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including 4-of-5 from behind the arc.
Wildcat Report's Anthony Gimino had Sean Miller's thoughts on the Ducks' prolific shooting:
Sean Miller on Oregon going 10 of 19 from 3: 'They made some good shots, and we also contributed to it. ... We erred too many times.'— Anthony Gimino (@AGWildcatReport) March 8, 2014
Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star thought Calliste's long-range ability was the difference between the two teams on Saturday:
Jason Calliste may be the one missing piece the #arizonawildcats don't have, an experienced knockdown shooter off the bench.— Bruce Pascoe (@BrucePascoe) March 8, 2014
For comparison's sake, the Wildcats shot a combined 2-of-11 from three-point range.
This was a huge win for the Ducks. Coming into the day, they were firmly on the bubble for the NCAA tournament.
As CBSSports.com's Jeff Borzello pointed out, the selection committee shouldn't have a tough decision any more:
FINAL: Oregon 64, Arizona 57. Ducks are dancing.— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) March 8, 2014
Oregon ends the regular season on a seven-game winning streak, capping what's been a roller-coaster season, per Brendan Prunty of The Star-Ledger:
Oregon's season: 13-0, 2-8, 7-0. So, so bizarre.— Brendan Prunty (@BrendanPrunty) March 8, 2014
On the other side, this loss could end up costing the Wildcats a No. 1 seed. As of right now, they should still be one of the top four teams, but you could see a future where they're eliminated from the Pac-12 tournament early and somebody like Duke or Virginia sneaks into the top four.
Of course, plenty of coaches have said that losing before the NCAA tournament can benefit a team. The players go into the Big Dance more focused and determined to avoid a repeat performance.
Arizona will have to be much better than it was Saturday if it has any hopes of making a deep run in the tourney.