How Oregon lost: No. 1-seeded Oregon (29-5) couldn't quite overcome the loss of its second best all-around player, senior forward Chris Boucher, who was sidelined with a season-ending knee injury, but the Ducks still played a spirited game against No. 2-seeded Arizona (30-4) during the Pac-12 Tournament title game Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
The Ducks struggle on offense in the first half managing to shoot just 34.5 percent from the field and fell behind 35-29. UO junior forward Dillon Brooks carried the team in the first half with 17 points on 5-of-12 shooting. The rest of the team made 5 of 17 from the floor.
In the second half, Arizona built a 14-point lead and Brooks got into foul trouble. That's when UO guards Tyler Dorsey and Dylan Ennis finally got things going on offense to help rally the Ducks back to within striking distance of winning the game.
But UO's rally fell short as Dorsey missed two late three-point attempts, one coming with the Ducks trailing 81-77 with eight seconds remaining.
Oregon won the lone regular season meeting between these two teams, 85-58 on Feb. 4 in Eugene.
What it means: The Ducks failed to win back-to-back conference tournaments and maybe blew their chances at receiving a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. However, many prognosticators have stated that they believe the Ducks could still very easily end up with a No. 2 seed.
Key sequence: Oregon got to within 68-64 with 5:25 remaining after UO junior forward Jordan Bell scored on a dunk off an assist from Brooks and was fouled leading to a made free throw.
However, Arizona answered with a 6-2 run that included a 14-foot jumper from Kadeem Allen, two free throws from Rawle Atkins and a jumper from Chance Comanche that made the score 74-66, UA with 3:22 remaining.
That didn't cause UO to go away. Brooks made a three later on to make the score 78-75, UA with under two minutes remaining.
Arizona helped Oregon's cause by then missing four consecutive free throws in the final minute. That allowed the Ducks to make it 79-77 on a follow up by Bell.
Then, UA's Allonzo Tier finally made two clutch free throw to give the Wildcats an 81-77 lead. The Ducks got a desperate three from Dorsey off but it missed with 6.6 seconds remaining and Arizona got the rebound.
High-flying Ducks: Brooks finished with 25 points on 8-of-18 shooting. Dorsey fought off a bad first half to score 23 with 21 coming in the second half. Bell had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Oregon committed just six turnovers.
Fowl play: UO freshman guard Payton Pritchard played 28 minutes and contributed just one point and three assists. He attempted just three shots. Senior guard Casey Benson had zero points in 18 minutes off the bench.
After the game, Dorsey said the Ducks lost it on defense. He believed 80 should points scored should have been enough to win the game.
Up next: Oregon, like every other team in the country, will find out its seeding and destination in the NCAA Tournament.