In one of the best Pac-10 Tournament Championships of recent memory, the Huskies topped Arizona, 77-75, on an Isaiah Thomas pull-up jumper at the buzzer.
Thomas led the Huskies with 28 points, giving Washington the Pac-10's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats will be in the Field of 68 as well, most likely as a five seed.
Washington led for most of the game, but Arizona took a four point lead twice in the final minute. It all went for naught though when C.J. Wilcox buried a three pointer with seven seconds left to tie the game at 68. Lamont "Momo" Jones tried a desperation three at the buzzer, but the attempt went long and the title would have to be decided in Overtime.
In the extra period, Washington took an early 73-70 lead. Arizona then cut their deficit down to one with 3:05 remaining after a pair of free throws, and the teams didn't score again until just 45 seconds remained. That's when C.J. Wilcox slipped behind the Wildcat defense and put home a layup to give Washington a 75-72 advantage. Arizona would not die though, as Kevin Parrom would tie the game with 20 seconds left on a three pointer.
No problem, Isaiah Thomas says. Thomas pulled up with three seconds remaining and hit a jumper as the horn sounded to give Washington the two point win. The Washington bench erupted and stormed the court, leaving a pro-Arizona crowd stunned.
Both teams will head into tomorrow's 3:00 PM Selection Show knowing that they will be in the NCAA Tournament, but Washington will carry momentum into the madness that starts on Tuesday. The Wildcats will head back to Tucson and re-group, wondering how the championship slipped away from them.
Terrence Ross, out of Portland's Jefferson High School, was the Huskies next best scorer with 16 points. He also had four rebounds.
The Huskies led 59-55 with 6:20 remaining when Arizona went on a 8-0 run to lead by four in the final minute. Washington went six and a half minutes without a basket before Thomas, Ross and Wilcox hit three 3-pointers in a row to force OT.
With the win, Washington ends the regular season with a 23-10 record, while Arizona finishes with a 27-7 mark.