The second-seeded Wildcats will face No. 7 Saint Mary’s, with the victor advancing to the Sweet 16.
This is the seventh all-time meeting between Arizona and Saint Mary’s. Open threes are tougher to find and it’s highly unlikely that they’ll accept the Arizona Wildcats pace the way North Dakota did. The go-to player on SMC had 18 points (6-8 from the field), 11 rebounds and two blocks in the 85-77 victory over VCU Thursday.
Getting into a track meet with Arizona is not a good idea.
“I think we’re going to have to be very patient”, Arizona guard Allonzo Trier said Friday. “It’s going to be a tough game”. We felt we played one of the top two or three teams in the west and played pretty well against them. North Dakota wanted to play a faster tempo and push the ball up the court. “They don’t beat themselves”, guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright said.
“I really believe that we are up against a great team, a team that’s more than capable of winning several games in this tournament”. On the flip side, the Wildcats held teams to 31 percent three-point shooting during the season.
How to watch No. 2 Arizona vs. As you know, if you follow them, they have the ability to steal the ball and get their hands all over the court on your basketball. “To me it’s about us being as good as we’ve been all season long, defending the other team”.
In a game many many projection systems predict will be close, that matchup will be the difference if the Wildcats’ want to make the Sweet Sixteen tomorrow night.
Arizona was led by Lauri Markkanen and Rawle Alkins both with 20 points. They didn’t score again until it was 80-62, and by that point it was all but over. They did a lot of things to take him out of it.
“I thought I blocked the shot and they thought it was a foul, ” he said.
Markkanen had gone through a rough stretch in the middle of the Pac-12 season when he didn’t hit double figures for five straight games, but he came on strong in the Pac-12 Tournament when he averaged 20 points in three games and helped lead his team to the title. Jock Landale is now 5 of 5, and Arizona is discombobulated enough on offense that Keanu Pinder just stepped back to launch a 3-pointer.
“We decided we’d scrimmage each other”, Bennett said. It’s certainly hard to stay calm and stick to the game plan, but you have to do your best just to trust what you’re doing, and not play too tight. It wasn’t the best zone you’ll ever see, but it sure was effective, as the Trojans head SMU to just 27 second half points. It’s “win big or go home” at this point of the season. After all, if there was any concern over his players being complacent, it was not evident following the game. “And we know that we’re going to have to play defense for 30 seconds of the clock every possession”. At least, it better be.
Arizona led 53-37 at halftime. “Randy Bennett doesn’t get almost enough credit for the job that he does, and SaintMary’s is truly a good program. It was nice to have a bounce-back game like that, but we were unfortunately unable to finish the day, but credit to Princeton’s pitcher for her outing”. Saturday’s doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. (CT), with Sunday’s finale also starting at 2 p.m.