Arizona's 77-75 overtime loss to Washington in the Pac-10 tournament finals on Saturday afternoon was intensely fought, and ended dramatically when tough little guard Isaiah Thomas hit a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer that was one of ESPN's top ten plays of the day.
|Arizona's Derrick Williams takes the floor at the Big Dance this Friday |
The Wildcats seemingly had the game won in regulation, but the Huskies hit three straight treys in the last minute to tie the thing, the final one coming on a defensive lapse with less than ten seconds to go.
Would have been nice for the Tucson bunch to have won both the regular season and conference titles, but no matter.
Yesterday afternoon, Arizona learned that it is the 5th-seed in the NCAA West Regional and will face the Memphis Tigers at 11:45 on Friday morning in Tulsa.
A win over Washington may have secured the Cats a 4th-seed, but that's about it.
From what we've seen this year, Memphis is a very athletic team, but won't necessarily be able to exploit Arizona's lack of size and physical presence down low.
It should be a close one, however, and to prevail the Cats are going to have to play better defense down the stretch than they did against Washington.
The winner is likely to get the Texas Longhorns, a big step up in talent, size and everything else.
Whatever happens this coming weekend, the Wildcats have had a hell of a season, one that few--even down in basketball-happy Tucson--could have predicted after the turmoil of the last few years.