Thursday's Sweet 16 game between Arizona and Ohio State lived up to the hype but, in the end, the Buckeyes came up with one more big shot as they won 73-70.
Deshaun Thomas started with a bucket, but Mark Lyons and Kevin Parrom answered with consecutive three-pointers. Solomon Hill then added a layup of his own before a shot by Thomas cut Arizona’s lead to 8-4 with 15:46 left.
Lyons made two free-throws out of a timeout and Sam Thompson answered with a three-pointer. Brandon Ashley and Aaron Craft exchanged baskets before two free-throws from Thompson cut Arizona’s lead to 12-11 with 13:11 left.
Grant Jerrett proceeded to score for the first time of the game and Thomas got it back at the free-throw line. Jerrett then hit a three from the corner before Lyons and Craft exchanged baskets. Shortly after, Lyons was able to get a three-point play that gave the Wildcats a 22-15 lead with 10:56 left in the first half.
After a Thomas bucket, Johnson hit two free-throws and got a dunk off a turnover. However, a three-pointer by Thomas brought OSU to within 26-20 with 7:26 left in the half. After two free-throws by Tarczewski, Johnson made a three-pointer from the top of the arc. Thomas scored the next time down court, but Parrom made two free-throws, as one of Thompson’s shots from the line brought OSU within ten with 5:55 left.
After a bucket by Craft, Thompson and Hill exchanged three-pointers. However, LaQuinton Ross came up with a three-point play to make it 36-31 in favor of Arizona with 3:27 left in the first half. Hill got into the lane for a dunk, but a three by Thomas cut the lead to 38-34 at the half.
Lenzelle Smith started the second half with two free-throws before he made a layup to tie the game at 38 only two minutes into the second half. A layup by Thompson then gave the Buckeyes its first lead since 2-0 and forced Sean Miller to call timeout. Two free-throws by Craft and a basket off an offensive rebound by Amir Williams forced Miller to call another timeout with the Wildcats down 44-39 with 15:01 left in regulation.
Ashley scored Arizona’s first points of the second half before Tarczewski scored on an offensive rebound. Smith responded with a dunk and craft proceeded to make two free-throws to negate what Arizona was able to do. Shannon Scott then added a basket, as Miller took another timeout with Arizona down 50-42 with 11:39 left in the half.
Lyons made one of two free-throws out of a timeout, but Thomas hit a three to put the Buckeyes up ten. Hill responded with a jumper in the lane and then picked up a three-point play to bring Arizona to within 53-48. Scott proceeded to make two free-throws the next time down court, but Hill hit another jumper in response.
Thomas made one of two free-throws to put the Buckeyes up six with about nine minutes left before a layup by Hill cut the lead to four. However, Ross knocked down two free-throws to put the lead back up to six. He then made two more to extend the lead to eight before Jerrett also made two of his own. Lyons and Ross exchanged three-pointers before Parrom got a bucket with about six minutes left.
Ross scored the next time down court, as two free-throws by Lyons made it 65-61 in favor of OSU with 5:12 left in regulation. Craft proceeded to make two free-throws the next time down court, but a layup by Johnson cut the lead to four with about two minutes left. Lyons made two free-throws with 1:20 left, but Craft drew a foul on the Arizona press and made one of two.
A layup by Lyons with a little over a minute left brought Arizona within three and after a missed shot by Craft, Lyons picked up a three-point play to tie the game at 70 with 21 seconds left. However, Ross made a three-pointer that put Ohio State up three with two seconds left and won the game.