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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


NCAA Tournament: Arizona claims No. 2 seed in West region, will play North Dakota in Salt Lake City

Simon Asher

Arizona’s Parker Jackson-Cartwright motions for the crowd to make more noise as the UA-USC game draws to a close on Thursday, Feb. 23. 

The Arizona Wildcats will be the No. 2 seed in the West region of the NCAA Tournament and will take on the No. 15 seeded North Dakota Fighting Hawks in Salt Lake City on Thursday.

For a day that lifted spirits for teams on the bubble, as well as disappointing teams who truly believed they belonged in the field of 68, the Wildcats were placed in a position many thought they would be in after knocking out UCLA and Oregon for the Pac-12 Tournament Championship.

Usually the No. 15 and No. 2 matchup is one of those sleeper games, so don’t sleep on the Fighting Hawks. North Dakota comes out of the Big Sky conference and finished the season 22-9 and won 10 out of their final 11 games on the season. 

North Dakota is led by 6-foot point guard Quinton Hooker who’s averaged 19 points, 4.9 rebounds and leads the team in three-point percentage (44.6 percent). Hooker is also active in the paint for a guard and is second on the team in rebounding.

The Wildcats will take on the Fighting Hawks Thursday and if Arizona wins, the ‘Cats will play either No. 7 Saint Mary’s or No. 10 Virginia Commonwealth.  

Other notes:

  • The Pac-12 has four teams in the NCAA Tournament. USC is a No. 11 seed in the East region, Oregon is a No. 3 seed in the Midwest, UCLA is a No. 3 seed in the South and Arizona rounds out the representatives for the conference of champions. 
  • If Arizona runs to the Elite Eight, it could set up a potential rematch with No. 1 seed Gonzaga. The Wildcats were limited with seven scholarship players and played without Allonzo Trier when the two teams met in December and Arizona has a tendency to avenge losses. 

Follow Justin Spears on Twitter. 

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