It was a big night at Pauley Pavillion on Thursday for UCLA-Arizona basketball, even if ESPN color commentator and former UCLA alum Bill Walton perhaps went a bit overboard with its implications in the pregame.
AWESOME atmosphere in Pauley tonight. BIG GAME !!! EVERYBODY IS HERE !!! The fate of everything is in the balance.
— Bill Walton (@BillWalton) January 8, 2016
But it really ended up being a terrific game and important for PAC-12 implications, as UCLA’s Bryce Alford hit a stepback three with 1.8 seconds left to give the Bruins an 87-84 win over the No. 7 Arizona Wildcats.
— UCLA Basketball (@UCLAMBB) January 8, 2016
Bryce is of course the son of UCLA head coach Steve Alford, which makes that play even more awesome.
UCLA appeared to have the game in control with four and a half minutes left, up 13 points. But Arizona came all the way back to tie the game with 15 seconds left, before Alford hit that three to prevent the Bruins from having a very frustrating loss. Instead, it’s a great upset win over the No. 7 team in the country.
Oh, and it came on Russell Westbrook Night, where UCLA honored their former guard and current NBA star.
Russell Westbrook talking to the crowd pic.twitter.com/ONaNWaGbtA
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 8, 2016
UCLA even gave away eyeglass frames in honor of Westbrook, and his Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Kevin Durant rocked a pair at the game:
— UCLA Athletics (@UCLAAthletics) January 8, 2016