Night Court: Arizona wins at UCLA and is still without a scar

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

Josh Pastner earned himself maybe the biggest win of his career Thursday. (USATSI)
Josh Pastner earned himself maybe the biggest win of his career Thursday. (USATSI)

Here's everything you need to know from college basketball's Thursday …

Game of the Day: Arizona tosses a final punch at UCLA to remain unbeaten.

UCLA didn't have a lead in the second half until 1:40 remained. It went up 70-69, but it was top-ranked Arizona that closed out with the win, outscoring the Bruins 10-4 in the final 90 seconds to move to 16-0, its best start since 1932.

Earlier in the game, T.J. McConnell and Aaron Gordon did this together.

UCLA should be encouraged by how its bigs played; the Bruins won the rebounding battle, scoring a better snare rate on the O and D boards.

The two teams put on a nice game in front of plenty of stars. Steve Nash was there. As was Phil Jackson, who sat with this guy. Nick Johnson had a team-high 22. If you're not paying attention, that guy's one of the 10 best performers of the season to date.

Wondering where Arizona's first loss might come from? It's at 9-5 USC Sunday, then has three straight home games, against Arizona State, Colorado and Utah. I think the Wildcats get taken out before February, but it's tough to say when.

In getting the win, Zona beats UCLA after failing to get one dub in three tries last season.

GIF via The Big Lead

What else we'll be talking about in the morning: Marquette probably needs a negative light shined on it.

Haven't heard Buzz Williams' team take grief for what's now a 9-7 start, and Buzz has probably earned that, but jeez. Plenty thought Marquette might lose seven games total all season. It fell 86-79 at Xavier and Semaj Christon put up 28 for Xavier. The Golden Eagles have played seven decent teams this season and lost to every single one. I think this is the first time Williams fails to reach the NCAA tournament as Marquette coach. Injuries/departures have been part of it, but this is still unforeseen.

It's gonna be nice to see X back in the big dance this season by the way. We'll be giving more lover to Chris Mack's team as we move forward here, but this is a minute to stop and say, "Hmmm ... " with things regarding MU.

That's a great win: Portland ends multiple Gonzaga streaks with first win against them in nearly 11 years.

An 82-73 final. I wrote an entire post around it.

That's a good win: Memphis takes out Louisville, at Louisville.

It had been 23 days since the Cardinals played a home game. The team looked as though it wasn't comfortable with the confines at times. The Cards led 61-55 with less than five to go, though. All told, Louisville was able to somewhat cruise its way to a lead despite not getting a great game out of either Russ Smith or point guard Chris Jones. Some will point to a goal tend call (that's wasn't) on Montrezel Harell during a Joe Jackson trip to the hoop. That 'tend made it a 70-67 game in favor of Memphis.

Memphis owes this win to its balance; it was double figures in points for all five starters. The team closed the game on 7-0 run and walked away with a 73-67 win, a W some believe is now the biggest of Josh Pastner's career. Shaq Goodwin led the team with 15 points.

The Cardinals are now 13-3. Louisville's best wins are Southern Miss and at Central Florida.

But that's a bad loss: Butler drops a double-OT tilt at home to ... DePaul!

Never believed NCAA tournament 2014 was in Butler's future, but the team had looked better than I expected this season up to league play. Dropping this one will ultimately send the Bulldogs to the NIT, I'm afraid. This game probably should've never even made it to a first overtime, let alone a second. Here's what Butler needed to earn five more free minutes, courtesy of Jackson Aldridge.

Brandon Miller's team is 10-5 and is now 0-3 in the Big East. Next up? Home to Georgetown. Then at Creighton. Then home to Marquette. Losing two of three probably buries all legitimate NCAA hopes. Much more on this game below.

Vine via Troy Machir.

Players with impact

1. High scorer on the night? Robert Morris' Karvel Anderson, who had 36 in a 79-70 win at Sacred Heart.

2. Cleveland Melvin 30 points for DePaul in its win at Butler. Guy has had the best career no one's noticed the past four season.

3. A double BYU dip here. First off, good to see the Cougars pulling themselves together in the time being and getting wins. Earned an 84-72 victory over Pepperdine Thursday night. Tyler Haws put up 35, which means he's cracked the 1,500 mark for his career, doing it in 86 games. Only Danny Ainge and Kresmer Cosic did it in fewer.

4. Kyle Collinsworth put up this stat line in BYU's win: 15 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists. Prettay, prettay good.

5. New Mexico State's Daniel Mulling had a boss of a game for the Aztecs in a 96-87 win over Seattle. Scored 13 points, had 11 rebounds, seven steals and six assists.

6. Cal's Jordan Mathews -- a freshman -- had 32 points. Justin Cobbs went for 20 points, 11 assists, six rebounds. More on that Cal win below. The Bears have beaten the Ducks 12 TIMES IN A ROW. Holy moly.

Numbers to figure (DePaul-Butler only edition)

Four: The number of overtime games Butler's been involved in this season. It's 1-3.

21-3: DePaul's record when scoring 80 or more points under Oliver Purnell.

7: The number of wins for DePaul in the Big East since the 2010-11 season, including tonight.

10: The number of years it's been since Butler started 0-3 in conference play.

Other outcomes of note:

  • Michigan won 71-70 at Nebraska and got out of there thanks to Terran Petteway's layup attempt in the closing seconds falling wrong for the Huskers. Then Nebraska couldn't get at tip-in to take the game. Tough break, the kind of shots that don't fall when you're Nebraska. Wolverines move to 11-4. All starters scored 10 or more for UM, and the team had as many turnovers as foul shots: nine.
  • Take note: Cal just went into Oregon and beat the Ducks 96-83. It was thorough, folks. The Golden Bears are a 10-4 team. I just know they'll quietly play to a 10 seed and no one's going to know much about them. But Justin Cobbs is a stud. He can be foolish with some of his passes, but overall I do really like his game in this system. Oregon's still going to be fine, but I didn't think this team would lose at home by double digits this season. No way. Joseph Young's 29 points go to waste.
  • Clemson has arguably the best defense in the country, but holding Florida State to 56 points won't cut it, because Leonard Hamilton knows a thing or two about stuffing down teams. Clemson only had 41 Thursday night and didn't score in the final four minutes. Tigers and FSU are both now 10-4.
  • Oregon State 81-72 over Stanford paints a darker picture for Johnny Dawkins.
  • Treveon Graham led VCU with 15 points. The Rams won 71-57 win over George Mason to improve to 13-3. Very interested to see what the Rams do in A-10 play going forward. And this is why Briante Weber leads the nation in steals.

  • Who leads the Atlantic Sun? Why, Florida Gulf Coast, of course. The Eagles are now 4-0 in the league after beating North Florida.
  • La Salle got a needed home win over George Washington, 76-72. The Colonials have only lost three games to this point, and remain a sneaky pick to make the NCAAs out of the Atlantic 10. GW's Isaiah Armwood had a double-double (15 points and 12 rebounds) in the loss.
  • Louisiana Tech is 13-3 after beating Florida Atlantic 84-64. Their is an interesting race set to start in Conference USA. It involves La. Tech and the team in the first mention of the notebook below.
  • Ole Miss is 10-4 after beating Auburn 65-62 at home.
  • Whoa. Santa Clara goes into Saint Mary's and gets a 57-55 win. Remember, Randy Bennett is serving a five-game suspension from the NCAA. Here's the sting.
  • Temple is now a terrible team. Tough to watch Fran Dunphy's club do this. Fell at home to South Florida 82-75, and the Owls next get Memphis. Victor Rudd led the Bulls with 23.

Notebook:

-- Donnie Tyndall got a new contract yesterday. On Thursday night, his Southern Miss team went to 14-2 by winning at North Texas. Golden Eagles are C-USA's best team and will make the NCAAs with four or fewer losses, or if they win their league.

-- Florida could very well be primed to get picked off this weekend.

-- Reporters on the scene in Louisville said things got weird between Pastner and Louisville fans as Pastner made his way, post-game, to the court to do a radio interview.

-- Iowa won despite Fran McCaffery not being able to coach the home game against Northwestern due to a one-game ban by the Big Ten. In the 93-67 win, Melsahn Basabe, Aaron White and Devyn Marble became the fifth Iowa hoops triad to score 1,000 points, and first trio to do so since 2005, per Iowa Athletics.

-- Kansas, clearly slipping in recruiting, has conjured another way to make life better for its players of the future.

-- Seton Hall landed a 7-foot-2 transfer from Northwestern who didn't sniff the court as a Wildcat. But he's 7-2.

-- Let's close up with this: 21 assists, six turnovers and 107 points for Belmont in its win at Southeast Missouri. Rick Byrd!

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