Game Recap: #2 Arizona vs. #10 Ohio State
Despite a back and forth game throughout the first half, the Arizona Wildcats were able to pull away late in the game and hold off the Ohio State Buckeyes, 73-58, Saturday night. T.J. McConnell filled up the stat sheet for Arizona, finishing with 19 points, six rebounds, six assists, and five steals (Ohio State had four steals as a team). Fellow Wildcat Gabe York chipped in with 19 points of his own, shooting five of nine from behind the arc. The Buckeyes had trouble matching up to Arizona big man Kaleb Tarczewski, who came up just shy of a double-double with eight points and nine rebounds. While overshadowed in the points category by teammate Sam Thompson (18 points), Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell led his team in rebounds (seven) and assists (six). The Wildcats advance to the Sweet 16 and will play Xavier on Thursday.
Game Recap: #6 Xavier vs. #14 Georgia State
You can’t say the Hunter duo didn’t give it their all this tournament. Georgia State coach Ron Hunter and his son, R.J., a guard for the Panthers, left it all on the floor, but were topped by Xavier, 75-67, in Jacksonville. The elder Hunter tore his achilles while celebrating a win earlier in the season, and then became famous for falling off a stool court-side after his son hit a game-winner during the tournament. Unfortunately for the Hunters, no such celebration was in order today, though R.J. certainly tried to make one happen: he finished with 20 points, five assists, four rebounds, and a block. On the other side of the ball, Jalen Reynolds led the Xavier Musketeers with a game-high 21 points to go along with six rebounds. Teammate Matt Stainbrook, who drives an Uber in his spare time to help pay for tuition, added six rebounds and nine points. The Musketeers will take on Arizona on Thursday.
Game Recap: #4 North Carolina vs. #5 Arkansas
In front of a reported attendance of 13,687, the Tar Heels of North Carolina defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks, 87-78, Saturday night. Michael Qualis of the Razorbacks finished with a double-double, leading all scorers with 27 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, but it was the 22-point performance from Tar Heel Marcus Paige that allowed North Carolina to come out victorious. Paige was a perfect nine of nine from the free throw line and also contributed six rebounds and five steals. The Razorbacks’ offense was cut short by their 21 turnovers, and they shot just eight of 25 from three-point range. The Tar Heels look to play either Oregon or Wisconsin in the West Regional on Thursday.
– Cameron Neimand contributed to this report