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Arizona Survives OT, Makes Sweet 16 as NCAA Tournament Play Wraps at Viejas Arena

SportsArizona Survives OT, Makes Sweet 16 as NCAA Tournament Play Wraps at Viejas Arena

Viejas NCAA TournamentChristian Koloko slams the ball home to seal the Wildcats’ win with 11 seconds left in overtime at Viejas Arena Sunday. Arizona moves on to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament. Screen shot, TBS

Arizona may have faced an overtime test, but the Wildcats, along with Texas Tech, will move on to the Sweet Sixteen after their NCAA Tournament wins at Viejas Arena Sunday.

Not that No. 1 Arizona had it easy – No. 9 TCU pushed the South region top seed to overtime and even had a lead in the extra period – before Bennedict Mathurin took charge to give the Wildcats the 85-80 win.

The action now will shift from San Diego as early-round play wrapped up. San Francisco hosts the west regional and San Antonio the south, beginning Thursday. Meanwhile, Chicago and Philadelphia host the midwest and the east regionals, which open Friday.

No. 3 Texas Tech will face No. 2 Duke. Arizona takes on No. 5 Houston.

In Sunday’s games at Viejas:

  • (West region) Texas Tech (27-9) shook off No. 11 Notre Dame (24-11) late, 59-53, thanks to their strength at the free-throw line. The Fighting Irish, led late against the Red Raiders, but committed 11 turnovers – including an errant pass by Blake Wesley with 46 seconds to play – and failed to make a basket over the game’s final three minutes. Keven Obanor scored 15 points for Texas Tech, while Bryson Williams and Kevin McCullar added 14 each.
  • (South region) Arizona (33-3) could not shake TCU (21-13) and after Wildcat Dalen Terry’s dunk fell just after the buzzer, the teams ended regulation tied at 75 . Two Horned Frogs had career bests – Chuck O’Bannon with 23 points and Eddie Lampkin Jr. with 20, along with 14 rebounds. But they could not outpace Mathurin and Christian Koloko who combined for 58 points, including Arizona’s final 15. Mathurin put his team, the Pac-12 regular season and tournament champs, up for good after Koloko missed a free throw and he sailed in for the rebound and the bucket. Koloko sealed the win with 11 seconds left, on a dunk following a Mathurin miss to go up by five.

The national championship game is set for New Orleans on April 4.

San Diego State again will host early NCAA Tournament rounds in 2026.

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