TUCSON, Arizona -- As Queen's "We Are the Champions" blasted through the McKale Center speakers, Deandre Ayton waved his hands from side to side while he watched his teammates snip the nets to celebrate Arizona's Pac-12 men's basketball title.
Arizona won the league's outright championship with a 66-54 win over the Cal Golden Bears on Saturday night, the conclusion of a tumultuous week.
A week ago, coach Sean Miller missed his team's overtime loss at Oregon after ESPN's Mark Schlabach reported the Arizona head coach had been overheard on an FBI wiretap discussing a $100,000 payment with Christian Dawkins, a key figure in a bribery scandal that has rocked college basketball, to secure the services of Ayton.
Through his family attorney, Ayton has denied receiving any payment or having any connection to Dawkins.
Miller also denied ever having conversations about paying Ayton or any player during his career through a statement Thursday that preceded his return to the team prior to a win over Stanford.
After Saturday's win over Cal, Miller said the past week has been "devastating."
"And the second word that I would use is 'remarkable' because a lot lesser programs, teams -- bigger picture -- universities would have crumbled and we didn't," Miller said after the game. "And I think that says something about us and our future."
Arizona struggled with Cal until the Wildcats pulled away late in the second half. Senior Parker Jackson-Cartwright said the week's drama had sapped his team's energy and contributed to its sluggish start.
"Lot of emotions," said Jackson-Cartwright, who was honored along with the team's other seniors on senior night. "Really, an emotional week. ... I think everybody is just drained -- mentally, physically."
"They're not coming back," Miller said when asked why he brought the three non-seniors onto the court during the senior night celebration.
Arizona will enter this week's Pac-12 tournament as the top seed.