Worth staying up for

Oregon State delivered a wild win against No. 9 Arizona, while Gonzaga held off San Francisco Denver-South Dakota had an all-time showdown. Plus, the impact of JUCO players, and we set up an entertaining weekend.

Whether it’s 2 pm ET on a Saturday afternoon or 1:30 am ET on a Thursday night, upsets happen in college hoops. For those who managed to stay up Thursday night, you got just that.


1. Buzzer-beater sinks No. 9 Arizona

Arizona may be the only ranked Pac-12 team, but that doesn’t seem to apply on the road.

The Wildcats entered Thursday night with just one win away from home. Surely conference bottom dweller Oregon State wouldn’t present a challenge, right?

(You know where this is going.)

Oregon State trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half before creeping back in the second behind guard Jordan Pope, who was fabulous. His 3-pointer tied the game with 11:22 remaining, then gave the Beavers the lead with 4:18 to play, and lead by nine with just over two minutes to play.

Pelle Larsson tied the game with two free throws, but there was enough time for Pope to do this.

"I saw daylight and I took the shot," Pope said. "It feels great. I've put in a lot of work my whole life."

He finished with a career-high 31 points Oregon State (10-9, 2-6 in Pac-12) got an 83-30 victory and snapped a seven-game losing streak to No. 9 Arizona. Pope became the first Oregon State player to score 30+ points and hit a buzzer-beater since Mario Jackson in 1991.

This might derail Arizona (14-5, 5-3) from landing a No. 1 seed in March. The league title is still in sight, but first they need to worry about getting back on track with a trip to league-leading Oregon on Saturday.

"I wish the game would have got to overtime and we could have seen if we could get over the top," coach Tommy Lloyd said. "But we don't get that opportunity."

Arizona did get 23 points from Caleb Love, along with 18 and 17 from Keshad Johnson and Pelle Larsson, respectively.

But on a night where both teams had no trouble finding the bottom of the net — Arizona shot that 52.8% from the field and scored 1.18 points per possession; the Beavers were 56.3% and notched a season-high 1.22 ppp — the goose egg from starter Kylan Boswell stands out. After a strong start to the season, the sophomore’s production has been inconsistent.

That’s a concern going forward, especially in the games where Love is inconsistent.

2. Gonzaga holds on at home + other results

This isn’t your typical Gonzaga team. But it still might end up atop the West Coast Conference again.

And it might need that to earn an NCAA Tournament bid.

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