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The Arizona Wildcats had two success stories out of the G League this week, when former guard Kadeem Allen was named to its all-defensive team and Joseph Blair coached the Rio Grande Valley Vipers to the Western Conference title.

The Vipers beat Santa Cruz 144-125 on Tuesday to win the conference and will now face the Long Island Nets in a best-of-three series beginning Sunday at 4 p.m. on ESPNU.

"Not many times I fall speechless, but this is one," Blair posted on Instagram, with a photo of him holding the conference trophy.

Allen is back in the NBA with the New York Knicks (although currently out with a concussion) but he's one of many two-way players earning G League season honors.

Former OSU guard Gary Payton II, playing under Blair with Rio Grande Valley, joined Allen on the all-defensive team.

Josh Green and IMG will open Geico Nationals tournament with a first-round game against Sunrise Christian at 9 a.m. Thursday on ESPNU. A program for the event has been posted.

UCLA is close to naming TCU's Jamie Dixon as head coach if all sides can work out a deal over his $8 million buyout.

Contact sports reporter Bruce Pascoe at 573-4146 or On Twitter @brucepascoe

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