LOS ANGELES, March 13 (UPI) -- Embattled UCLA Coach Steve Lavin pulled off one possibly the biggest win of his career Thursday as the Bruins stunned top-ranked Arizona in overtime, 96-89, to advance to the semifinals of the Pac-10 Conference Tournament.
UCLA will meet Oregon in Friday's semifinals after the Ducks scored in the final seconds to nip Arizona State, 83-82.
In Thursday's nightcap, Brian Wethers scored 11 points to lead a balanced attack as No. 23 California dominated the second half on the way to a 69-46 win over Oregon State.
Three of the top four seeds in the tournament fell on Thursday, and after a sluggish first half, there were indications that the Golden Bears would be the next upset victim, but California (21-7) turned in the most dominant performance of the day.
The Golden Bears had a 33-31 lead early in the second half before exploding with a 20-3 run. Oregon State missed 13 consecutive shots from the field and went scoreless for more than 10 minutes while California took control.
The Bears extended their winning streak over the Beavers to 11 games, and advanced to the semifinals for the second straight season. They will face Southern California on Friday. The Trojans upset Stanford, 79-74.
Brian Jackson scored 12 points to lead Oregon State (13-15), which lost eight of its last 10 games.
With UCLA struggling through its worst season in 60 years, there has been considerable speculation that Lavin will be fired at the end of the year.
But after seven seasons of almost constant criticism, Lavin survived to coach at least one more game with the Bruins (10-18), who posted the biggest upset in college basketball this season.
"I am so proud of the seniors," Lavin said. "I feel that we are playing our best basketball once again late in the year and have the opportunity to send Ray Young and Jason Kapono across the finish line."
Arizona (25-3), which had a 10-game winning streak snapped, beat UCLA in the two regular-season meetings by 35 and 36 points.
But the Bruins, who needed to win their final two regular-season games just to get into the Pac-10 tournament, were determined to go down fighting in this one, erasing a 12-point deficit in the final 10 minutes of regulation.
UCLA tied the game on Ray Young's long three-pointer with 4.9 seconds remaining in the second half and never trailed in the overtime.
"This was a big game for the team and coach Lavin," Young said. "It's tough being a coach and player at UCLA. You get a lot of scrutiny throughout the year. Coach Lavin stuck with us the whole year. He has kept us motivated and helped us win all year."
Jason Kapono scored 26 points for the Bruins, who will face either Oregon or Arizona State in Friday's semifinals.
Rick Anderson scored a career-high 23 points for the Wildcats, who still are likely to receive a top seed in the West Region when the NCAA Tournament pairings are announced on Sunday.
Arizona Coach Lute Olson has made it clear he does not think the Pac-10 needs a conference tournament and said prior to the event that he would use it as a tune-up for the NCAA tourney.
"We just need to get back and get regrouped and be ready to play wherever they send us," said Olson, who pointed out the Wildcats lost two in a row going into the 1997 tournament, when they went on to win the national championship. "We got our hit. Let's see how well we bounce back from that."
In another surprise, Desmon Farmer scored 24 points and Roydell Smiley added a career-high 20 as Southern California withstood a wild finish against the 14th-ranked Cardinal.
"I think everybody in this tournament has something to play for," said USC Coach Henry Bibby. "I don't think Arizona came over just for the (heck) of it, nor did Stanford or Arizona State. Stanford (also) was in it to win, and that's the way it should be."
The Trojans led by as many as 14 points in the second half, then staved off a late rally by the Cardinal.
The Cardinal shot just 23 percent (7-of-30) from beyond the arc, and also were ineffective at the free throw line, going 11-of-18.