After three days of epic games in Pac-12 tourney, top seeds Oregon and Stanford to play for title
- Pac-12 Tournament Final – #2 Stanford vs. #1 Oregon, 5 p.m. PT, ESPN2
- #5 Arizona State 66, #12 Colorado 49
- #8 Arizona 76, #9 USC 48
- #7 California 77, #10 Washington State 58
- #11 Washington 64, #6 Utah 54
- #4 UCLA 73, #5 Arizona State 69
- #1 Oregon 77, #8 Arizona 63
- #2 Stanford 72, #7 California 54
- #11 Washington 68, #3 Oregon State 67
- #1 Oregon 88, #4 UCLA 83
- #2 Stanford 72, #11 Washington 61
LAS VEGAS – After three days of epic games, the 2019 Pac-12 Tournament final is set. While the teams that will fight for the title are the top seeds, a pairing that seems like the outcome of a typical turn of events, the tournament has been anything but run-of-the-mill. The first day of competition saw the No. 11-seeded Washington taking down No. 6 Utah.
Washington continued to shock in the second round with an epic win over No. 3 Oregon State. While the Huskies fell to No. 2 Stanford in the semifinals, it was not easy feat for the Cardinal to defeat them.
“I think that we had a battle on our hands, and that points to the depth of our conference,” Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer said of the win. “If that’s team No. 11, wow. Just incredible. I mean, how hard we had to play and how well we had to play to beat Washington and to beat Cal…I think it really points to just the great teams we have, the great players we have, and the great coaches we have in the conference.”
Stanford’s opponent in the final, Oregon, did not have an easy time either. It took an overtime period for them to finally best UCLA in an epic semifinal matchup. It was the fourth overtime game in tournament history.
As one of the top five teams in the nation, it was no surprise that the Ducks will once again play in the conference championship. However, head coach Kelly Graves acknowledged the difficult road to the title game in the Pac-12.
“Every opponent now is big-time,” Graves said. “This is postseason. It’s a grind. You’re not going to see those hundred-point games and 30-point blowouts. Those are over.”
Nevertheless, Graves still has supreme confidence in his team’s ability to overcome the most determined lower seeds.
“Listen, I don’t think anybody is better in the country in an open-court game and passing and moving and shooting it,” Graves said about his Ducks after beating UCLA in overtime. “We’re the best shooting team in the country, and the best passing team in my opinion. The numbers will prove that out. But it’s nice to know that we are capable of playing the grind-it-out games, and we’ve won two of them in this tournament alone. That, again, speaks for a really talented group that knows how to win.”
Sunday’s matchup marks the ninth time the tournament’s top two seeds have survived to the final game.
- Overall, Stanford improves to 44-5 overall in the tournament and 2-1 vs. Washington. The Cardinal will be appearing in its 16th tournament title game (12-3).
- Stanford has made the last 3 tournament championship games as the #2 seed, losing in the previous two to the #1 seed (2017, OSU and 2018, Oregon.)
- Alanna Smith led the Cardinal scorers with 21 points. It was her 14th 20+ point game of the season. She also had a game high 12 rebounds.
- Regular-season champion Oregon won its fifth consecutive tournament game and advanced to its second straight tournament final.
- Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu broke the career tournament record for assists at the 4:20 mark of the second quarter vs. UCLA (50, besting the 49 of UCLA’s Jordin Canada and Nikki Blue.) She ended the game with 54.
- Ionescu is averaging close to a triple-double for the tournament: 18.0 points per game, 10.0 rebounds per game and 9.5 assists per game.