LAS VEGAS - The Arizona Wildcats won their rubber match with UCLA in convincing fashion in front of nearly 20,000 fans at T-Mobile Arena on Friday to advance to the finals of the Pac-12 Tournament.
But the win was overshadowed by a perplexing timeout called by UA coach Sean Miller with 0.9 seconds left on the clock.
The game wasn't in doubt, as Arizona beat the Bruins by 11 points. That's why the move baffled UCLA coach Steve Alford, and the two coaches had a bit of an exchange when the final horn finally sounded.
Miller's decision apparently stems from a timeout Alford called in the final seconds of UCLA's win at Arizona two weeks earlier -- a move Miller thought was unnecessary, as the Bruins led by five points and were in no danger of losing the game.
"I guess they're upset I called a timeout at their place," Alford said after the game. "I didn't mean disrespect at all ... I just wanted to set my defense because we hadn't won there (in a long time), so I didn't want anything goofy to happen.
"Apparently he thought I was being disrespectful, and (Miller's timeout) was I guess a way of coming back at us. But I in no means meant any disrespect, and that's what I told him after the game."
When asked about the timeout, Miller said he did it to give Kadeem Allen the proper senior sendoff he didn't get after Arizona's loss to the Bruins in Tucson on senior night, and to ensure he team was "poised" heading into the next game.
Presented without comment... here's Sean Miller's take on the late timeout. pic.twitter.com/clJl78gCY3— Shane Dale (@ShaneDaleABC15) March 11, 2017
"We didn't end his senior night the right way, and tonight was about making sure we paid Kadeem back," Miller said.
"I think we learned form UCLA in that game, in just making sure your team's poised moving forward. When they called their timeout late, we wanted to do the same thing -- make sure our teams poised moving forward."
In any event, the Wildcats are moving on to the Pac-12 Tournament championship game and will look for their second tournament title in three years when they face the top-seeded Oregon Ducks on Saturday night. That game will begin at 9 p.m. Arizona time on ESPN.