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USA TODAY Sports breaks down one of Thursday night's biggest college basketball games, the Pac-12 clash between No. 1 Arizona and No. 25 UCLA.

How the Wildcats won: Top-ranked Arizona (16-0) matched its best start in school history after beating UCLA 79-75 in the lone meeting between the two schools during this regular season. The Wildcats led for most of the second half, but just could not close out UCLA until the final minute.

BOX SCORE: Arizona 79, UCLA 75

LOOK OUT: Aaron Gordon's sick alley-oop

UCLA hung in the game in the first half because the Bruins were the more physical team. They were competitive in the rebounding battle against the much bigger Wildcats. Midway through the second half came the play that, at the time, appeared to sum up the game: UCLA missed two layup attempts at one end, and Arizona quickly turned it into a 4-on-2 fast break with Nick Johnson finishing with a layup at the other end.

But UCLA never folded and Arizona battled serious foul trouble late in the game. T.J. McConnell, Aaron Gordon and Brandon Ashley all had four fouls. Jordan Adams, who struggled offensively for most of the night, buried a three-pointer to tie the game at 68 with just over two minutes remaining. Bryce Alford then gave the Bruins a one-point lead with a free throw, but it wouldn't last.

Star watch: Nick Johnson's resounding right-handed dunk as the game was getting out of reach for UCLA epitomized his night. The 6-foot-3 guard scored 22 points and remains the primary catalyst for the Wildcats.

Big man Kaleb Tarczewski made all six of his field goal attempts in the game.

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UPSETS: No. 13 Oregon and No. 18 Gonzaga lose

UCLA point guard Kyle Anderson, one of the nation's more versatile players, struggled shooting the ball at times, but still finished with a double-double (16 points, 11 rebounds).

What this means in a nutshell: In short, Arizona is the most complete team in the nation.

The Wildcats have size and a heady, formidable backcourt. They can play stifling defense, holding opponents to 54.9 points per game. And they have a coach who may be closing in on the first Final Four appearance of his successful career.

No one likes to give up double-digit leads, but this was a conference road game. They are rarely easy contests. Based on Arizona's upcoming schedule, the Wildcats could remain No. 1 for quite some time this regular season. Even in an age of parity, they appear that good.

UCLA will be entertaining to watch the rest of this season under first-year coach Steve Alford. Fans were not totally enamored with Ben Howland's slower style of play. Well, Alford has brought a fast-paced tempo to UCLA, which is averaging 87.1 points per game.

The Bruins should be an NCAA tournament team. And the battle for second-place in the Pac-12 — assuming Arizona remains as strong as it looks now — should be a spirited battle among UCLA, Colorado and Oregon, and perhaps others.

Tweet that speaks volumes: "I'm beginning to understand how John Wooden had a few issues in dealing with Bill Walton." — Eric Sondheimer @latsondheimer

And-1: Lute Olson coached some great teams during his storied tenure at Arizona, including the 1997 national title team and a star-studded 2001 team that lost to Duke in the national title game.

But ESPN broadcaster Bill Walton, always fluent in hyperbole, said, "This is the best Arizona team possibly in history."

Later, the television camera centered on former Arizona standout Gilbert Arenas in the crowd. What happened to his career? Walton: "Gilbert lost his mind."

Later, Walton compared Alford's reconstruction of the UCLA program to the invention of the iPhone.

And that was all in the first half. And that does not even account for Walton's ode to John Lithgow, who was sitting beside Phil Jackson.

All Walton did in the second half was say "nothing but net" for a bank shot off glass.

Follow national college basketball reporter Eric Prisbell on Twitter @EricPrisbell.

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