"Again, for him to not to be in the finals of the Cousy Watch, I'm at a loss", Alford told the Pac-12 Network.
The lights were on the Arizona big man in the final five minutes of the game as the two teams went into overtime.
The Bruins never trailed and led by as many as 13. Looking ahead to Saturday, USC coach Andy Enfield said he's focused on stopping Ayton. Stanford shot 43.9 percent and made 9 of 22 shots from beyond the arc. They played well. They played better than us today. We have been better than what we were two weeks ago. "As long as we score points we should be good but we want to focus on defense". Though they were exhausted, it did not make a lot of sense to continually go for the outside shot.
The Buffaloes kept Arizona close to start the second half, but suffered a huge blow with when Wright appeared to come down on someone's foot.
But when Wright went crashing into the crowd on the baseline after pursuing an offensive rebound, CU's hopes dimmed considerably.
It is defense, McLaughlin said, that will be the key. "I just came down on it very awkwardly".
Travis has 14 double-doubles, six in his past eight games. The Buffs didn't help their cause, committing three turnovers in the stretch, each of which the Wildcats converted into buckets.
"We're playing as hard (on) defense as we can", he said. Sam Vecenie of The Athletic reported that Ayton believes he is the best 2K player in Arizona's locker room, which is a distinction you'd assume a bunch of people on the Wildcats want. And that 14-0 run is a great example of that.
Parker Jackson-Cartwright opened the game for Arizona with a wide open three-pointer, but Jonah Mathews picked up where he left off after a career-high against OR, putting up nine of USC's first 15 points. The Buffs made just one of 10 3-point tries after halftime.
Most satisfying to Arizona coach Sean Miller was the fact that Arizona limited UCLA to only one defensive rebound in overtime. "I've been doubted all my life and when I'm challenged, I really rise to the challenge". Our defense was intact, even though there were times maybe when we had the ball, we didn't execute as well. The seven footer doesn't appear to have any major flaws in his game, and at the very worst will be a solid National Basketball Association center.
"He wanted to go back in towards the end, but the trainer said he's pretty sore and tender", Boyle said. USC got an early boost from Mathews' precise shooting, but it was Rakocevic who impressed the most.
On Saturday night, USC had an opportunity to claim not only its first Pac-12 championship since 2009, but also an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament, which begins next week. They will now wait until Sunday to see if they earn that NIT bid. I think we've done enough to pass the eye test, and I think our body of work proves it. "I needed to find a way to get inside a lot more to make my shots fall". Once Ayton got going, there was no slowing him down.
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George King had 19 points, and Lucas Siewart 16 for Colorado.
QUOTEWORTHY: "This has been an enjoyable group to coach".
Ayton is the kind of player who can absolutely dominate the NCAA Tournament, but Arizona is hardly a one-man team.
Arizona improves its lead in the series to 18-13, winning 2 of 3 this year.
While Arizona won't get a top seed, it might be the most risky team in the country heading into Selection Sunday.
Colorado used a big second-half run to beat Arizona State 97-85 in its Pac-12 opener, a game that put Boyle in a walking boot after injuring his right calf trying to break up a fight.
The big men carried their respective sides in the first half.
The Wildcats out-rebounded the Trojans, 42-19, with Ayton collecting almost as many as all of USC's players combined, creating a variety of second-chance baskets.
McKinley Wright IV (8 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds) he leaped from fourth to second on CU's single-season list for assists with 175, passing Jay Humphries who had 174 in 1982-83 and 173 in 1983-84.
The Bruins' average margin of victory in their last five games has been 4.0, down from 6.1 for the season.
UCLA's offense can be unsafe because of how quickly the team can rack up points. Chimezie Metu had 18 points to lead USC, with guard Jordan McLaughlin scoring 16 points. He has 12 career double-figure scoring games, with eight coming in the last 11 contests. Up next for the Wildcats is the Pac-12 Tournament Championship game. It was his fifth game with at least nine rebounds.