NEW YORK (Sporting Alert) — No. 5 Arizona shot 56.7-percent from the field en route to their seventh win in a row after hammering California 99-60 at McKale Center in Tucson on Thursday night.
The rout saw the Wildcats (27-3, 15-2) completing the season sweep, following the 73-50 victory on January 24.
Junior forward Brandon Ashley enjoyed an impressive night after he matched his career best with 21 points, while pulling down six rebounds for Arizona, which secured its second consecutive Pac-12 regular-season title.
Kaleb Tarczewski added 14 points and eight rebounds, Stanley Johnson ended with 12 points and five boards and T.J. McConnell dished out a career-best matching 11 assists in the win for the Wildcats, who forced 16 turnovers on the night.
Tyrone Wallace paced California (17-13, 7-10 Pac-12) with 16 points, five rebounds and three assists and Sam Singer finished with 13 points in the defeat.
Forward David Kravish, who is one of the team’s heavy contributors this season and is averaging 6.8 rebounds per game, fouled out with 9:10 left in the game after scoring 10 points in 17-minutes, and head coach Cuonzo Martin believes it “changed the game.”
“I think when you lose a post presence against a team that defends as well as they do, things can get tough because they can extend on the perimeter,” Martin was quoted as saying by AP.
“I thought it changed the game.”
Both teams return to action again on Saturday to close out the regular-season fixtures.
Arizona will be at home against Stanford, while the Golden Bears are traveling to Arizona State.
Also in action on Thursday night was No. 6 Wisconsin, which build a massive 20 point lead in the first half on its way to recording a 76-63 victory over Minnesota to clinched the Big Ten regular-season crown.
Frank Kaminsky completed an all-round night of 25 points, seven assists, six rebounds and two steals, while Sam Dekker added 20 points and six boards for the Badgers, who improved to 15-2 in league play and 27-3 overall on the season.
Nigel Hayes supported well with 12 points and nine rebounds for Wisconsin, which won two straight, after the 59-53 upset against the then-No. 14 Maryland on February 24.
Nate Mason scored 15 points and Carlos Morris chipped in with 11 for Minnesota (17-13, 6-11), which dropped its fourth game in the last five outings.
Wisconsin shot 50 percent (28 for 56) from the field and from three-point range (10 for 20) in the victory, while Kaminsky was 10 for 15 from the floor.
“It’s been a crazy ride. It’s been fun. To win it in a rivalry game on Minnesota’s court with so many of our own fans here is something pretty special,” Kaminsky said.
“We could hear them the whole game. They were loud.”
Elsewhere on Thursday night in top 25 games, No. 13 Utah beat Washington State, 67-59, while No. 18 Arkansas picked up a close 78-74 victory over South Carolina.
NCAA Men’s Basketball Top 25 Scores
(5) Arizona 99, California 60
(6) Wisconsin 76, Minnesota 63
(13) Utah 67, Washington State 59
(18) Arkansas 78, South Carolina 74