Postgame Analysis: Arizona vs. Stanford

Arizona won the regular season conference championship on Sunday night, beating Stanford 79-66. Read on for more about the win, including the player of the game, the plays the helped Arizona win, and more.

Arizona got off to a hot start and never looked back on Sunday night en route to winning the regular season Pac-12 Championship. The Wildcats looked impressive for the third consecutive game in a 79-66 beat down of Stanford. Here's an analysis of what happened:

Arizona Player of the Game:

Aaron Gordon – It was likely his last game in McKale Center and the freshman left with a bang. Gordon finished with a double-double, scoring 19 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. He also had two assists, a block and a steal. It was one of Gordon's best performances of the season and he has elevated his game over the last few games as he settles into his role without Brandon Ashley.

Key Moments:

  • The Wildcats jumped ahead early and got the McKale Center crowd into the flux with two back-to-back alley oop plays for Aaron Gordon. After a steal, Gordon passed to T.J. McConnell on the break and got the ball back in the form of a lob for the slam. On the ensuing play, Gordon got another lob as he got open underneath the basket, giving the Wildcats an early 12-4 lead.

  • The biggest play of the first half came with just under four minutes to go. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson blocked a Chasson Randle shot and took it the length of the court, finishing with a circus shot reverse layup in traffic. Back on the defensive end, Hollis-Jefferson had another block and Gordon eventually came out of the pack with the ball, taking it himself for his own layup, giving the Wildcats a 16-point lead.

  • With 10:45 left in the game, Arizona pushed its lead to 25 with a huge offensive explosion over the span of a minute of game action. Gabe York dropped back-to-back three pointers, exciting the crowd, before Gordon got a shot to bounce in that was tipped by a defender. It was Arizona's largest lead of the night up to that point and helped seal the game for the Wildcats.

  • When all of the numbers on the clock struck zero, Arizona knew it had won the conference championship. The players ran up the steps of the Zona Zoo, celebrating before cutting down the nets and honoring the lone senior on the team, Jordin Mayes. Sean Miller was the last to cut down the net and walked off the court with his Pac-12 Champion team.

    Stats of the Night:

    4: Four seemed to be the magic number of the night for Arizona against Stanford. The Wildcats held the Cardinal to just four bench points and four second-chance points. Arizona was also able to shut down Stanford on the glass, holding the Cardinal to just five offensive rebounds.

    General Thoughts: Arizona has shown that the new found offense is no fluke. The Wildcats scored 79 points on Sunday night and this now marks three straight games that they have shown an incredible flow on the offensive end of the court. As long as this team continues to produce the way it has in the past few games, it is going to be the favorite in every game it plays.

    It wasn't just the offense that was good in the game, either. The defense played well and is continuing to look as good as it has all season. Arizona was able to block multiple shots throughout the game and kept most of the Cardinal in check, save for Josh Huestis. It was a solid defensive performance all around for the Wildcats.

    Although he did not have much to show for his final game at McKale Center in the statistics columns, Jordin Mayes should be able to look back on his career at Arizona and McKale Center with pride. He stuck it out through a foot injury and confidence issues, never leaving Tucson despite his troubles.

    Sean Miller Quotable:

    "I think winning the National Championship or getting to the Final Four is self explanatory," Miller said. "I don't think in college basketball that enough credit is given to how difficult it is to win a regular season championship.

    "If you think about the hostile environments that we've played in front of and how long the season is, winning the regular season championship is not something that we take lightly."

    Wildcat Quotable:

    "This was one of our three goals we set this year," Nick Johnson said. "They were winning the regular season, the Pac-12 tournament, and the National Championship.

    "The season isn't over yet though. We still have two games left, and right now we're trying to play for a seed and for ourselves. We want to go down in Arizona history as one of the best teams ever."


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