LAS VEGAS — Of course Washington’s matchup against Oregon was going to be decided in overtime.
The modus operandi at the Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament has been fantastic finishes and nail-biting, cinematic endings worthy of Hollywood.
Thursday night’s final quarterfinal pairing between No. 11 seed Washington and No. 3 Oregon at the MGM Grand Garden Arena followed that pattern.
The Huskies committed a turnover on the final possession of regulation, and in the extra period they fell behind early and never recovered in falling, 80-77, to their Northwest nemesis.
Oregon senior forward Arsalan Kazemi nearly outscored Washington in overtime. He had 11 of his 14 points in OT. He muscled his way to the rim for layups, rebounds and putbacks.
Then Kazemi punctuated Washington’s defeat with a breakaway dunk after an Abdul Gaddy turnover. The basket gave Oregon a 72-65 lead.
The Huskies closed to 72-68 on Gaddy’s free throw with 28.1 seconds left, but they never seriously threatened again.
If Washington was going to have dead legs after playing the previous night, it was going to be apparent in the second half or in overtime.
The Huskies won an emotional game Wednesday against Washington State, while Oregon had a bye.
Washington made plays in the final minutes to beat the Cougars, but this time it will lament blown opportunities.
On the final possession in regulation, C.J. Wilcox had the ball in his hands with a chance at a game-winner.
He never got off a shot because Oregon guard Johnathan Loyd poked the ball away and time ran out.
Wilcox finished with 19 points, Scott Suggs had 18 and Andrew Andrews 11 for Washington.
Washington’s pursuit of an NCAA tournament berth ended here. The Huskies (18-15) will likely return to the National Invitational Tournament, where they advanced to the semifinals last year.
Meanwhile, Oregon (23-8) plays No. 10 Utah (15-17) at 8:30 p.m. Friday in the semifinals.
The Huskies lost for the third straight time to the Ducks, which is the first time that has happened since 1954.