Nic Wise Goes Out on Top as Arizona Beats USC

Tom PhillipsCorrespondent IMarch 6, 2010

STANFORD, CA - JANUARY 17: Nic Wise #13 of the Arizona Wildcats dribbles the ball against the Stanford Cardinal at Maples Pavillion on January 17, 2008 in Stanford, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

It was a storybook ending for Nic Wise.

In the second overtime, with the game tied, Nic Wise split the defenders and made an underhanded layup with 1.2 seconds left on the clock to give the Cats the win.

How fitting it is that a player whose career was so up and down ended with a game in similar fashion.

Five Wildcats scored double figures, led by Kyle Fogg and Derrick Williams, who both had 18. Williams had a double-double, grabbing 11 rebounds. Jamelle Horne had 16, and Wise added 15—including the game winner.

Arizona would not have been in the situation if Kyle Fogg didn't get fouled at the end of regulation. Down three, the Cats were running around trying to get open, and couldn't find an open shot. Fogg shot the three and it was short, but Fogg was fouled for three shots. He hit all three, and the game went to overtime.

The game looked to be Arizona's, as they were up four points with 47 seconds, and had Nic Wise going to the free throw line, but Wise missed both, and then the Wildcats traveled on consecutive possessions allowing USC to tie the game.

Wise missed the last second shot that sent the game to double overtime, but redeemed himself in the second overtime.

The win guarantees Arizona an above .500 record for the 26th straight season.

This game was similar to the games against UCLA and Stanford. The Wildcats were down at halftime and made big runs in the second half in order to get the lead.

Arizona seems to have found the winning formula. Start slow, get down by ten, make a second half run, and make the fans sit on the edge of their seats until hitting the game-winning shot

Arizona looks to finally be putting it together. If the Wildcats want to have any chance of going to a postseason tournament, they will have to put a nice showing together in the Pac-10 tourney.