No. 1 seed Arizona MBB advances to the round of 32 after a 17 point victory against Wright State


Ryan Wohl

(#0) Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin throwing a pass in Friday’s round of 64 matchup against Wright State on March 18, 2022 in San Diego, California.

Ryan Wohl

SAN DIEGO —Today, all things were right in the world. It was a cool, 70 degree day in California and the Arizona men’s basketball was playing an NCAA Tournament game.

But this wasn’t any normal day, today the Wildcats played in their first March Madness game in four years. They successfully advanced to the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament by defeating Wright State 87-68.

“That first round game is always interesting not because it’s a No.1 versus a No.16 but it is because the the way the crowd setup is, obviously there’s a lot of Arizona fans there but it’s pretty calm atmosphere,” Lloyd said. “As you get further into this tournament that you know, you feel more like you’re playing a home or a road game, which is what we’re used to.”

Dalen Terry picked up right where he left off the last time we saw in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was nearly perfect from the field, scoring 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists in the contest. Each game, it seems that Terry continues to gain more confidence and become a bigger part of the team.



Wright State early in the second half of action trailed by only seven points because of Arizona’s poor offensive execution.

The Wildcats finished the game with five players scoring in double figures.  Mathurin led the team with 18 points, while also adding five rebounds. Although he scored nearly 20 points in the contest, he was very inefficient doing so. Mathurin was 39 percent from the field but made two three pointers.

Throughout the past two weeks, the Christian Koloko everyone loved from the first half of the season returned. He is now scoring the ball with confidence again, defending at a high level while dominating the glass. Arizona won the rebound battle 46-25 while Koloko had 13 of those. He finished with 17 points, six assists and five blocks to go along with his double digit rebounds. This is the first game with this stat line throughout the entire NCAA Tournament’s history.



“It’s amazing, that’s why you come to Arizona, you come to Arizona to play in the NCAA Tournament and you know it’s my third year and it’s my first time here” Koloko said.

For the third straight game, the Wildcats have shot the ball at least 40 percent from three-point range. Tonight, they were 11-20, which is good for 55 percent.  Not everything went Tommy Lloyd’s team’s way, after seeing his team turn the ball over 19 times during the 40 minutes of play.

This victory extends the Wildcats current winning streak to seven games dating back to February 26 against Colorado. Also the win is Arizona’s first in NCAA Tournament play in exactly four years to the day (March 18, 2017).

“I don’t want these guys to play conservative and obviously we’re playing without Kerr right now,” Lloyd said. “So we just got to tighten it up a little bit and and hopefully we’ll be able to rein it in for the next game.”

The Wildcats starting point guard, Kerr Kriisa missed his third straight game today because of an ankle injury but Coach Lloyd seemed confident that he will be back on the floor in the near future.

“I didn’t feel like he was quite ready to play, I was hoping to get through this game without needing him,” Lloyd said. “He’s closer to playing then not playing.”

Arizona will look to move on to the Sweet 16 on Sunday. They will now play the winner of No.8 Seton Hall versus No.9 TCU game tonight. The Wildcats have not made a Sweet 16 since the 2016-17 season.

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