ARIZONA BASKETBALL

Arizona to face USC in Pac-12 Tournament after Trojans beat Washington

Mar 13, 2024, 2:41 PM

Boogie Ellis of USC against Washington in the Pac-12 Tournament...

Boogie Ellis #5 of the USC Trojans drives the ball against Sahvir Wheeler #5 of the Washington Huskies in the first half of a first round game in the Pac-12 Conference basketball tournament at T-Mobile Arena on March 13, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

The top-seeded Arizona Wildcats will open the Pac-12 Tournament against the No. 9 seed USC Trojans in the quarterfinals Thursday.

The Wildcats (24-7) received a bye in Las Vegas, while USC defeated the No. 8 seed Washington Huskies, 80-74, in the first round Wednesday.

Tip-off for Arizona-USC on Thursday at T-Mobile Arena is set for 12 p.m. MST.

Boogie Ellis led the Trojans against UW with 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting, while NBA  prospect Isaiah Collier, a likely lottery pick added 14 points and seven assists.

Kobe Johnson contributed 14 points and like Ellis added three steals.

What USC team will Arizona play in the Pac-12 Tournament?

USC (15-17) is now on a four-game winning streak that included a 78-65 upset on Saturday against then-No. 5 Arizona to end the regular season.

It appears head coach Andy Enfield’s team is rounding into form at the right time, with a trio of talented guards in the starting lineup and Bronny James, the much-watched son of LeBron James, coming off the bench. James added seven points and five rebounds Wednesday against Washington.

The Trojans fell 82-67 in their other meeting against the Wildcats in January but were without Collier and Ellis for that game.

Arizona is using its loss to USC from this weekend to improve.

“We knew we were given a gift by SC and we can really learn from this,” Wildcats head coach Tommy Lloyd said this week. “That’s going to be our focus.”

Added Arizona center Oumar Ballo: “We’re going to respond. This was a wake-up call for us. This is going to make us better for a deep run in the postseason.”

USC held Pac-12 Player of the Year Caleb Love to 1-of-10 shooting on Saturday and forced the Wildcats into 18 turnovers to just 18 assists.

Ballo and forward Keshad Johnson scored 17 points each to lead Arizona in the loss.

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