When Kevin Parrom sunk that three-point shot to tie the game with 20 seconds left in overtime, it looked like the Wildcats were headed for a second overtime period.
But 20 seconds is a long time in a college basketball game.
It was plenty of time for Washington’s Isaiah Thomas to set up for the game’s final shot, electing to win or lose it on his own. With the clocking expiring in the overtime period, the 5’9″ junior guard feinted right, then went left and cleared enough space from his defender to be able to drain the game-winner for the Pac-10 Tournament Championship.
Thomas, who looked a lot like his namesake, the former Detroit Pistons star, finished the game with 28 points and was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
Top-seeded Arizona fell, 77-75, in an effort to get a guaranteed No. 1 seed at the Big Dance in the first conference title game in history played to an overtime period.
And the third-seeded Washington Huskies (23-10) left the Staples Center in Los Angeles with their second straight conference trophy. And a much-improved chance of securing a spot in the NCAA Tournament field.
To add insult to injury, the last time Washington beat a ranked UofA team was six years ago. It was also in the Pac-10 Tournament finale.
And, yes, it was against Arizona.
This would have been Arizona’s fifth Pac-10 Tournament Championship, but the Cats will just have to settle this year for the regular-season title. And, with an impressive 27-7 record, they should warrant a high seed in the NCAA Tournament brackets coming out tomorrow.
Derrick Williams, who was just named the Pac-10 Player of the Year, lived up to his billing as he led the Cats in scoring with 24 points, and added 11 rebounds to a full night’s work.
(Photo: Arizona Athletics)