Washington waited until the final seconds to keep its NCAA tournament hopes alive.
The Huskies got two free throws from Todd MacCulloch with 2.1 seconds left for a 95-94 victory over No. 18 UCLA on Sunday, a win that moved them closer to their first NCAA bid since 1986, the longest drought in the entire Pac-10 Conference."It's the most important win we've had since I've been here," fifth-year coach Bob Bender said.
The victory was big in some other ways for the Huskies (17-9, 10-7) as it ended a 10-game losing streak to UCLA and was their first over a ranked team this season in six tries.
The Bruins (21-7, 11-5) were upset at how the game ended as the holding foul called against J.R. Henderson that sent MacCulloch to the line happened as Washington was trying to inbound the ball.
"I've never seen a dead-ball situation determine a game before," Bruins coach Steve Lavin said. "It would've been nice to see the game decided by the players."
Kris Johnson's 3-pointer with 12 seconds left gave UCLA a one-point lead. UCLA's Toby Bailey tied up Donald Watts of the Huskies with 2.1 seconds left, but the possession arrow pointed Washington's way, setting up the inbounds play and ensuing free throws.
MacCulloch finished with 25 points, none bigger than the deciding free throws.
"He was holding me and they called a foul," MacCulloch said. "There's nothing in the rules that says you can't get called for a foul in the final five seconds."
Three more automatic bids to the NCAA tournament's field of 64 were decided in conference tournament finals Sunday, as Davidson won the Southern Conference, Murray State won the Ohio Valley and Richmond won the Colonial Athletic Association.
Bailey scored all of his 32 points in the second half for UCLA, while Henderson finished with 20 and Johnson had 18.
"I was upset that I let down my team in the first half," Bailey said. "That's the main reason I came out inspired in the second half."
The Bruins didn't take the lead until the final minute after trailing by as many as 19 points three times late in the first half.
NO. 4 KANSAS 71, NO. 25 OKLAHOMA ST. 67: Raef LaFrentz, bothered by a sore shoulder, had 17 points and 14 rebounds to lead the visiting Jayhawks (31-3, 15-1 Big 12).
NO. 11 PURDUE 99, NO. 10 MICHIGAN ST. 96, OT: Brad Miller had 30 points and 12 rebounds and Mike Robinson made two free throws with 30 seconds left in overtime.
NO. 24 TEMPLE 74, NO. 20 UMASS 66: The Owls (20-7, 13-3) won the Atlantic 10's Eastern Division as Pepe Sanchez scored 19 points and Rasheed Brokenborough added 16.
NO. 23 SYRACUSE 77, GEORGETOWN 72, OT: Todd Burgan made up for a scoreless first half with 19 points and some key defensive plays as the Orangemen rallied.
DAVIDSON 66, APPALACHIAN ST. 62: The Wildcats (20-9) earned their sixth NCAA bid and first since 1986 as reserve Ben Ebong had 17 points and nine rebounds.
MURRAY ST. 92, TENNESSEE ST. 69: Isaac Spencer had 20 points and 11 rebounds as the Racers (29-3) advanced to the NCAA tournament for the third time in the past four years and sixth time in the 1990s.
RICHMOND 79, N-C.-WILMINGTON 64: Jonathan Baker scored all but two of his 17 points on perfect 3-point shooting as the Spiders (22-7) earned their first trip to the NCAA tournament since 1991.
JUNIOR COLLEGE RECAP
Southern Idaho clinched the top spot in the Scenic West Athletic Conference with a 79-76 win over Snow College on Saturday. The Golden Eagles (15-3, 27-3) will go into this week's Region 18 Tournament in Rexburg, Idaho, as the number one seed. Dixie (14-4, 26-4) slipped to second with the loss, then rebounded for a 117-80 win over Treasure Valley on Saturday.
Salt Lake (14-4, 24-6) claimed third place with an 85-79 win over Colorado Northwestern and an 89-83 win over Eastern Utah.
Ricks (12-6, 22-8) dropped an 87-83 decision to North Idaho, but still finished fourth in the league.
Utah Valley (11-7, 22-8) beat Eastern Utah 95-76 and Colorado Northwestern 90-69 to take fifth place.
Snow (9-9, 20-10) defeated Treasure Valley 75-66 to claim sixth place. North Idaho (7-11, 17-12) took seventh, and Eastern Utah (4-14, 14-16) grabbed the eighth and final playoff spot.
The Region 18 Tournament starts Thursday in Rexburg.