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February 28, 2014

UCLA loss gives No. 3 Arizona share of Pac-12 title

Third-ranked Arizona won a share of the Pac-12 Conference championship without stepping on the basketball court Thursday night.

Oregon escaped with a 87-83 double-overtime win over second-place UCLA, giving the Wildcats the top seed in the Pac-12 tournament with three regular-season games left to play. UA (26-2, 13-2 Pac-12) will have a first-round bye when the battle for the conference's automatic NCAA tournament bid gets started March 12 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

It is the program's 26th regular-season crown overall, 13th since joining the league in 1978-79 and first since 2010-11 - the second of head coach Sean Miller's five seasons in Tucson. That year, the Wildcats finished undefeated at home.

They have the opportunity to match that feat and win the Pac-12 title outright with a win Sunday over Stanford. The Wildcats are 122-45 under Miller - including 17-0 at McKale Center this season.

"It would mean a lot," Miller said of a possible undefeated home record after UA's 87-59 win over California on Wednesday night. "It's not easy to do.

"If we're able to do that, I think it would be an accomplishment we would be very proud of."

The Bruins, meanwhile, lost more than just a game. Last season's regular-season champions played without stars Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams, who were dealt one-game suspensions before tipoff for an unspecified violation of team rules.

The loss decreased their lead for second in the Pac-12 standings to just one game over Arizona State, Colorado, Stanford and Cal - all of which are knotted at 9-6 in conference play.

The top four seeds receive a bye and begin play at the four-day Pac-12 tournament on March 13.

Tracy McDannaldTracy McDannald
GOAZCATS.com Senior Editor

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