Clemson beats Arizona to advance to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1980

For the first time in 44 years the Clemson Tigers will be playing in the Elite Eight. Number six seed Clemson held off second-seeded Arizona to a 77-72 win in the NCAA Tournament West Regional. 

Clemson led by Chase Hunter 18 points, six rebounds, and five assists and PJ Hall, who scored 17 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Ian Schiefflin added 14 points, including some key baskets in the second half, and had seven rebounds.

Clemson led as many as 13 points, however 

Arizona went to a full-court pressure defense that turned the game’s tempo more in the Wildcats’ favor. After cutting the deficit to eight by halftime, Arizona opened the second half on a 12-4 run. The Wildcats had their first and only lead with 14:32 in the game. 

Jaden Bradley hit two free throws with 9:55 remaining tied the game at 56-56, but a quick answer with a Hall basket and Schiefflin’s banked-in 3-pointer from the top of the key pushed the Clemson lead back to five points. Arizona went scoreless for 4:19 during which the Tigers had opportunities to extend their advantage but could not capitalize. The gap grew to no more than seven points.

Arizona pulled to within two on a late 3-pointer by Bradley who finished with 18 points and went 2-for-4 from beyond the arc. The rest of the team finished a combined 3-of-24 from three point range. 

Caleb Love scored 13 points, and went 0-for-9 from three point long range. Omar Ballo finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds and was 1-for-7 from the free throw line. 

Photo Credit – AP 

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