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Arizona, Washington Provide Thrills In Pac-10 Tournament Championship Game

I wasn't excited about the Pac-10 championship game between the Arizona Wildcats and the Washington Huskies. Boy, was that foolish of me.

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The Pac-10 Tournament came to an incredible conclusion on Saturday evening, with Isaiah Thomas nailing a long two pointer as the buzzer sounded to lead Washington past the top-seeded Wildcats, 77-75 in overtime.

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Thomas played with an intensity I haven't seen before, scoring 28 points and being a visible leader for the Huskies. Terrence Ross added 16 points to help lead Washington to their second consecutive Pac-10 title.

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Really though, how does this game affect the Arizona Wildcats? First of all, it's a demoralizing loss to a quality opponent. No one wants to go into the tournament with a loss in their conference tournament, but losing in such a heartbreaking fashion can do multiple things to a team.

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The Wildcats could take it as a lesson and come out and play even harder in the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies outhustled Arizona at several key points in the second half and overtime, grabbing loose balls and outrebounding the Wildcats by ten.

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Derrick Williams dropped 24 points in a losing effort, showing a lot of emotion and playing hard the entire time. For a team that shot over 40% from beyond the arc during the season, Arizona only managed to shoot 33% against Washington.

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For those who thought the Pac-10 couldn't provide high quality, tension-filled basketball: you've been proven wrong.

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In terms of bracketology and seeding come Selection Sunday, I don't think Arizona will suffer. They've been seeded as a 5 by both ESPN's Joe Lunardi and SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean. Personally, I thought they were more likely a 4 seed, so expect them to be in the 4/5 range tomorrow night.

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With the loss, Arizona moved to 27-7 on the season, and Washington improved to 23-10.