Texas was unable to take advantage of Arizona's poor free throwing shooting in the second half, and consequently the Wildcats squeaked by the Longhorns 70-69 in Round of 32 action in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Derrick Williams was kept in check for most of the game, with aggressive man-to-man employed on him. This defense did open up room for other Wildcats to step in. Williams only shot 8-for-14 from the free throw line, allowing the Longhorns to fight for the victory down to the wire.
Williams came up huge when it mattered the most, however. The All-American converted an essential three-point play in the waning seconds to pull off the 70-69 victory. Williams keeps finding ways to push his team over the top, and today's victory was no exception.
Jordin Mayes connected on all four of his three point attempts, scoring 16 points and providing a much-needed spark off of the Wildcats bench. His play in the NCAA Tournament was a nice surprise for Arizona (29-7) fans, who averaged less than five points a game during the regular season.
Jordan Hamilton had a strong game for the Longhorns, leading the team with 18 points. Tristan Thompson had an off game, making only one of his five field goal attempts. Texas (28-8) couldn't stop Arizona's long distance shooting, as the Wildcats shot 57% (8-for-14) from three point range.
Lamont Jones was a non-factor for the majority of the game, going 0-for-6 from the field.
Arizona finally was able to defeat a ranked team for the first time this season, and it couldn't have come at a better time. Texas was ranked 8th overall by the Associated Press on March 14. While many experts thought Texas deserved a higher seed, they drew a favorable draw against the Wildcats -- they were just unable to get past Solomon Hill and the balanced Arizona attack.
The game nearly came down to free throw execution -- Texas made 18-of-22 attempts, while Arizona only managed 14-of-22. But in the end, Arizona made the one free throw that truly mattered.
With the win, Arizona advances to the Sweet 16 to face the top-seeded Duke Blue Devils in Anaheim on Thursday.
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