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NCAA Tournament: Arizona Escapes Memphis, 77-75

Derrick Williams put the Arizona Wildcats on his back and carried them, defeating the Memphis Tigers in a game that was close from start to finish. 77-75 was the final score.

Williams scored 22 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and was a force to be reckoned with, making all nine of his free throw attempts and even hitting an open three to help lead Arizona to victory.

Lamont Jones, known as MoMo, added 18 points. There was a lot of concern that Arizona wouldn't be able to defeat such an athletic and talented team, but Memphis was unable to stop the inside-out offense that Derrick Williams provided.

Arizona was very shaky to close out the game, barely escaping Memphis' trap defense during the waning seconds. Fortunately, Jamelle Horne was able to sink both his free throw attempts with 23.7 seconds left to play to give the Wildcats a five point lead.

The Tigers rallied back to within one point with 12.8 seconds left to play after picking off Arizona's inbound attempt. After UA made their two free throws to take a three point lead, Memphis cut it down to two on a free throw, then rebounded the missed attempt on the second toss.

That's when Derrick Williams came alive, blocking the potential game-tying layup in a fashion reminiscent of Arizona's victory over Washington in February. 

The reason Arizona was able to pull this game off? Excellent free throw shooting. The Wildcats made 26 of their 31 attempts, good for a 83.9% average. You're not going to lose many games with that type of prolific shooting from the charity stripe. This number was lowered by Horne missing both his free throws with 0.4 seconds left on the clock.

Arizona was far less accurate from beyond the arc, making only 5 of their 19 attempts.

With the win, the Wildcats advance to play the Texas Longhorns on Sunday in the Round of 32.

For more fan reaction, visit Wildcats blog, AZ Desert Swarm.