NCAA day 2: Oregon and Washington St. lose upsets, only Arizona survives

A bad Saturday for the Pacific-12 at the NCAA tournament Sunday. Oregon and Washington State both lost in upsets, during which I couldn't keep awake for being out and about all Friday.

Only Arizona survived, 72-67 over UNLV. It was the first game in which I really thought they missed Aari McDonald. McDonald would've given them more space there, McDonald would've won the race to that ball, McDonald would've been their shooter, and so on. Sure, as long as you're picking the spots, you can do this for any team missing any great player, but this was the first time this season I found myself doing so for Arizona and Aari McDonald.

That game was within five points in both directions for three quarters (UNLV led by 7 for two possessions in the 2nd; Arizona led by 6 for one possession in the 3rd), but as ESPN talking head Coach Dan Hughes said, Arizona's ball pressure eventually wears opponents out. 

Tied at 56-56 with 5:34 rema ining, went on an 11-0 run. Senior guard Shaina Pellington made two steals during the run, and led all scorers with 30 points. Four steals and four assists opposite zero turnovers. A 25.6 Hollinger GameScore, the highest I've crunched this year.

Cate Reese played for the first time in three weeks, but that shoulder is obviously nagging her. Especially at the free throw line, when it's Cate Reese alone with her separated shoulder.

The trouble with Oregon getting knocked out of the Wichita region and Washington State from the Bridgeport region is that an all-Pac-12 round of four is ruled out, while Arizona is the only Pac-12 team left on that side of the bracket, while Stanford and Utah are on a collision course in the other.

That is, assuming Stanford beats two opponents, starting with #8 Kansas tonight, while Utah does the same (a more difficult task: #2 seed Texas, then probably #3 LSU).

Utah had no difficulty in eliminating Arkansas Friday. It was 10-0 at the start, and Arkansas never threatened. The Utes will deal with their first adversity today against Texas -- #6 in the Associated Press poll, and in their own building. Though it's possible the freshmen Johnson, Kneepkens, and Vieira won't feel a thing. (It's 44-30 at half.)