Did you miss the thrilling game between the Arizona Wildcats and Memphis Tigers?
Maybe you were stuck at work. Perhaps you were watching but you had your eyes covered. Maybe you blacked out.
Or maybe you had so much fun you want to experience it all again.
We’re here to help. Here’s what went down, how it went down, and why the UA is moving up to the next round.
We pick things up with five minutes left in the game. The score is tied at 65.
4:47 – Kevin Parrom fouls out trying to overplay a pass about 18 from the hoop. Having three perimeter players in foul trouble is a testament to Memphis’ quickness.
4:29 – Jesse Perry misses a 3-point attempt with 18 seconds left on the play clock. Perry did not score at all and proved that cool hair doesn’t guarantee personal success in the tournament.
4:06 – Memphis’ Will Barton travels by starting to run before dribbling. Not quite as bad as Michigan State’s Kalin Lucas Thursday night, but it was still obvious.
3:50 – After Kyle Fogg rushes a 3 (falling over to try and draw a foul) Jamelle Horne grabs a big offensive rebound and quickly passes to the best 3-point shooter in school history (not Steve Kerr; he was out of bounds), and Derrick Williams drains it. 68-65, Arizona.
3:30 – Williams fouls Will Coleman (No!) who misses the front end of a 1-and-1. Coleman gets his own rebound (No!), kicks it to Barton for an open 3 (No!) but the airball goes out of bounds. A whole lot of tension for nothing.
3:07 – Three Tigers converge on Williams who loses control of the ball and gets called for traveling. A bunch of non-dribbling at the end of this game.
2:51 – Tarik Black completes an and-1 post move to tie the game. On the TV broadcast Kerr implies that it’s the 4th foul on Williams but it’s actually on MoMo Jones. Thanks for the unnecessary stress, Steve. 68-68.
2:37 – Fogg attempts the exact same running-before-dribbing move that Memphis tried 90 seconds ago. It’s still illegal.
2:11 – More travelling. Is this game being sponsored by Expedia?
1:49 – The ball goes into Williams and all five Tigers collapse into the lane. That’s what happens when your team is 4-for-18 on 3s. Derrick is tied up but the possession arrow points to Arizona.
1:36 – Jordin Mayes and Jones don’t seem to realize the shot clock didn’t reset. MoMo shoots a 3 with two seconds left. It hits the front of the rim, bounces off the backboard and goes in. It’s like he forgets he’s a bad shooter at the end of games. 71-68, Cats.
1:27 – Chris Crawford misses an open 3 attempt badly. Horribly. I would make a bitter extra-point joke but this is a happy day.
0:53.1 – Jones drives with nowhere to go and throws a pass headed for the fifth row but Horne leaps as high as James Brooks (sorry) and saves the ball to Mayes who penetrates and gets fouled. Good news…until you remember Mayes is a 44% free throw shooter.
He makes them both. Wow. 73-68, UA.
0:38.8 – Will Barton bounces in a runner and Memphis calls timeout. 73-70.
That peppy “NAPA Know-How! NAPPA Know-How!” commercial tries to calm our nerves. It doesn’t work.
0:33.0 – Memphis presses and MoMo makes the same cut that didn’t work in the Washington game at McKale. He moves parallel to the baseline away from the passer so when he catches the pass he immediately gets trapped in the corner. Jones loses the ball and has to pull it off the ground like a fumble and is very fortunate to get a timeout called instead of a jump ball. To make matters worse this is Arizona’s final timeout.
The collective blood pressure in Tucson doubles.
0:26.8 – The Cats will run a better inbounds play after the timeout, right? Nope. Jones again catches the ball against the baseline and instantly gets trapped. Without any timeouts he has to lunge his way around it and heave the ball toward midcourt before another trap. No Wildcat is there but it hits Memphis’ D.J. Stephens who is trailing the play, and the ball goes out of bounds.
The Tucson Heart Hospital is put on red alert.
0:23.7 – Now at midcourt, the Cats try to get the ball in for a third time. The pass goes to Williams who immediately gets it to Horne who is cutting to the hoop. Horne is fouled and almost makes the layup. He calmly drains both free throws. A senior! 75-70, Arizona.
0:19.8 – Joe Jackson goes coast to coast in half a heartbeat and gets fouled. He makes both free throws. A freshman! 75-72.
Uh-oh. Another inbounds play.
0:12.8 – Both guards are covered so Solomon Hill throws it toward Horne near the top of the key. Horne doesn’t come back for the ball and it’s intercepted by Will Barton. Barton misses the 3 (the Tigers missed their final five 3-point attempts after starting 6-for-10) but Jackson lays in the putback. Josh Pastner calls his final timeout. 75-74, Wildcats.
0:07.4 – MoMo Jones goes the other direction this time and quickly dribbles up the sideline to avoided the trap. He reverses field and burns a couple more seconds before getting fouled. Jones steps to the line.
Good. 77-74, Cats.
0:05.0 – In an attempt to avoid a repeat of the Pac-10 tournament championship game Sean Miller has Jones foul as soon as the ball-handler gets across halfcourt.
Jackson makes the first free throw to cut it to two. He then executes a perfect intentionally-missed free throw by arcing the ball so it bounces high off the back of the rim. Nobody blocks out the shooter so Jackson is able to tip it and it goes right to Wesley Witherspoon.
0:02.0 – BLOCKED SHOT.
Was it a foul? You be the judge.
I don’t think either the bump by Horne on the rebound or the contact with the body by Williams was enough to warrant a game-changing whistle. But, admittedly, my computer screen does have a distinct red and blue hue.
0:00.4 – Horne misses two free throws for one last bit of drama but the fullcourt heave does not connect.
0:00.0 – Survive. And. Advance.
In the world of college sports there’s nothing like watching your basketball team win an NCAA tournament game. When you win a bowl game your season is still over. But in the madness of March each win gives you the right to play a bigger game against a better team.
And to do it in dramatic fashion? It leads to two days of fist-pumps and random high-fives.
A couple days ago I thought this team’s season would end if it ran into one of two things. Well, the Cats survived the cold 3-point shooting game. That leaves facing a team that can dominate inside.
Arizona is now the underdog. The UA will be in the road jerseys and will be playing in front of a very pro-Longhorn crowd on Sunday. It doesn’t look good.
But the Wildcats have earned the right to do something about it.
Now get to work on those inbounds plays.
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