Editor’s note: We’ve updated this story with Oregon making the Final Four.
In 2008, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love were part of a UCLA team that made the Final Four.
It was the Bruins’ third consecutive Final Four appearance.
They haven’t been back since.
In fact, until Oregon made the 2017 Final Four in Glendale with a 74-60 win over No. 1 seed Kansas on Saturday, no other Pac-12 team had been in the Final Four during that time either, a drought spanning nine years.
During the Pac-12’s drought, the Big East had sent eight teams to the Final Four. The Big Ten, seven. The Atlantic Coast and Southeastern had each sent five. Even the Missouri Valley, Horizon and Colonial conferences had Final Four representation.
The Pac-12 had some close calls during the drought.
Sean Miller, who has taken Arizona to seven consecutive NCAA Tournaments, has led his team to three regional finals.
The Wildcats just haven’t been able to get past the Elite Eight.
Arizona lost in the regional finals in 2015 (85-78 to Wisconsin) and 2014 (64-63 to Wisconsin).
BEAT BICKLEY: NCAA Tournament contest
The Wildcats also fell to UConn in the Elite Eight in 2011, 65-63.
The only other Pac-12 team since 2008 to make the Elite Eight before Oregon accomplished the feat this season were the Ducks last season.
They fell short against Oklahoma in a regional final, 80-68.
They were the only Pac-12 team to advance past the first weekend in 2016.
Three Pac-12 teams were in the Sweet 16 this year. And now, finally, one has made the Final Four.
Pac-12 teams that have won the title
• UCLA (11): 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1995.
• Arizona (1): 1997.
• California (1): 1959.
• Utah (1): 1944.
• Stanford (1): 1942.
• Oregon (1): 1939.
Final Four schedule
Semifinal winners, 6:19 p.m., Channel 5 (Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery, Grant Hill, Tracy Wolfson).
azcentral sports’ Doug Haller contributed to this story.
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