Whooo-eee! Saturday made me wish I went to school in Tucson. First, Arizona won the New Mexico Bowl over Nevada in thrilling fashion, 49-48, partly in thanks to an onside kick that took a lucky bounce. For the Wildcats, it was a win like very few before it and it was a fitting end to the season for Ka’Deem Carey, who rushed for 172 yards and three touchdowns, all but assuring himself the NCAA rushing title (for yards per game average, at least). The 13-point comeback in the final minute-plus made you forget all about that first quarter fight between two Arizona teammates.
The ‘Cats weren’t done yet. Later that night, the Arizona men’s basketball team overcame a six-point deficit in the final 56 seconds to beat No. 5 Florida, 65-64, exacting revenge on the Gators for an overtime loss in Gainesville last year. The term “Cardiac ‘Cats” has been used a lot for multiple teams, but it really applied to Arizona Saturday.
Oregon volleyball fans weren’t in as celebratory of a mood Saturday night, as the Ducks lost to Texas in three sets in the NCAA championship match. Despite the loss, it was a record-breaking year for the Ducks, who made it to their first-ever NCAA Final Four. Props.
Outside of that, there was a whole lot of basketball action on both sides this weekend as teams came out of their finals breaks. The biggest result for the conference outside of Arizona beating Florida was the Colorado women’s basketball team’s upset of No. 8 Louisville by four points (70-66). The Buffs earned their first win against a top-10 team in about a decade, in large thanks to Chucky Jeffery’s 22 points and seven rebounds.
UCLA women’s hoops also did some serious work this weekend. First, Markel Walker and Alyssia Brewer recorded double-doubles in a 76-62 win over St. Mary’s in the first game of the St. John’s Holiday Classic on Saturday. The Bruins put the cherry on top with a 53-52 overtime victory over St. John’s yesterday, thanks to another double-double from Alyssia Brewer (who was named tournament MVP) and a last-second lay-up from Jasmine Dixon in OT to provide the final score.
Let’s not forget about what June Daugherty and Co. did either, beating 20th-ranked Ohio State, 62-55, to give the Washington State women’s basketball team its first victory over a ranked opponent at Beasley Coliseum in close to 12 years.
Utah women’s basketball scored a 71-33 win over Houston Baptist, while star defensive tackle Star Lotulelei has earned consensus All-American status, along with the Pac-12′s Marqise Lee, Kenjon Barner, Ka’Deem Carey, Zach Ertz, David Yankey, Will Sutton and Jordan Poyer.
On the men’s hoops side, USC stole the show by holding UC Riverside to 19 percent shooting (that’s not a misprint) in a 70-26 (also not a misprint) win over the Highlanders.
Cal faced a big test in Creighton on Saturday night, but Doug McDermott dominated for the Blue Jays by scoring 34 points, leading Creighton to a 74-64 dub over the Golden Bears.
Earlier in the weekend, Joe Burton was named a team captain for the rest of the season, filling in for the injured Angus Brandt. Later in the weekend, the Beavers beat Chicago State, 87-77, at Gill Coliseum behind 34 points for Roberto Nelson (tying a career high) and 25 off the bench from Devon Collier.
Arizona State rebounded from a loss earlier in the week to DePaul by beating Dartmouth, 61-42, thanks to a 13-point, 14-rebound, five-block, four-steal-performance from Carrick Felix. Talk about filling up a stat sheet.
Dwight Powell scored 20 second-half points to help Stanford beat UC Davis, 75-52, after picking up two early fouls in the first half. In football news on The Farm, backup quarterback Brett Nottingham has decided to transfer.
Nothing like a Gregg Bell recap to take you home on the roundup: There weren’t a whole of positives in Washington’s 75-67 men’s basketball victory over winless Jackson State.