Arizona Men’s Basketball’s championship run comes to the end in the Sweet 16 | News

Jenna Fink
4 Min Read

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KVOA) – Arizona Men’s Basketball’s championship run came to an end in the Sweet 16.

The two-seed Wildcats fell to six-seed Clemson 77-72 in Arena in Los Angeles. It’s Arizona’s second Sweet 16 loss in three seasons under Head Coach Tommy Lloyd. The Wildcats lost to 5th seed Houston as a one-seed back in 2022. 

The Wildcats rallied back from a 13-point first half deficit in the second half. They took their first lead of the game off a Caleb Love layup with 14:32 left in the second half. Arizona kept that lead for just 20 seconds before Clemson regained it.

The Wildcats struggled offensively. They made just 37% from the field and a season-worst 18% (5-of-28) from three. 

Arizona made a late game push behind Jaden Bradley. He led the Wildcats with 18 points off the bench, eight points in the final 4.5 minutes of the game. 

Oumar Ballo had his 20th double-double of the season with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Caleb Love finished with 13 points, but went 0-for-9 from deep. 

Chase Hunter led Clemson with 18 points. PJ Hall had 17, while Ian Schieffelin had 14.

After trailing by eight at the half, Arizona came out of the locker room red hot. The Wildcats went on a 7-0 run in 49 seconds to cut the lead down to one. Pelle Larsson hit a transition three, followed by an Oumar Ballo dunk and a Caleb Love and-one layup. They hung around through the second half by forcing turnovers on one end and getting to the line on the other. Arizona went 14 of 17 at the charity stripe in the second half.

The Wildcats were the first team to earn a spot in the Sweet 16. They had two full days at home before making the short trip to Los Angeles. Clemson only had 12 hours at home. 

Arizona didn’t look like the more rested team coming in. The Wildcats missed their first six shots, scoring their first bucket off a Kylan Boswell triple nearly four minutes in. Arizona also struggled with turnovers. It had four in the first five minutes and eight in the first half. That turned into 11 Clemson points.

Clemson came out strong to start. The Tigers shot 53% from the field and 45% from three to build a 10-point lead midway through the first half. 

The Wildcats trailed by as many as 13, but they eventually settled in offensively. Arizona cut Clemson’s lead down to six late off an Oumar Ballo dunk, but it still trailed 39-31 at the break. The Cats shot just 41% from the field and hit 2-of-11 three pointers. 

Clemson will face the winner of North Carolina and Alabama for a spot in the Final Four. 

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Jenna Fink , – Vivrr Local Results in sports of type article , 2024-03-29 01:15:00
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