The Texas Longhorns and the Arizona Wildcats had a controversial finish in Tulsa, but there were 39 and a half other minutes that are left to be discussed, and a lot of it ended up ensuring a close finish. (For further discussion of the controversial Texas-Arizona ending, go here). All stats courtesy of SCACCHoops.
Arizona ruling downtown. Texas had one of the best three point defenses in the country, so it's shocking to see them get lit up by Arizona (which did have one of the best three point offenses, but you'd expect some regression against such a good perimeter defense). The Wildcats nailed an incredible 57% of their three pointers (Jordin Mayes 4 for 4, Brendon Lavender 2 for 2, Kyle Fogg 1 for 1, Kevin Parrom 1 for 2). This gave Arizona the lead early, and they hung on for dear life.
Texas, by contrast, could not hit anything from outside against Arizona's strong three point defense. 3 for 11, all three three pointers coming from Jordan Hamilton (J'Covan Brown went 0 for 3). Dominating the triples battle gave Arizona all the advantage they needed.
Texas fumbles. The Longhorns could not handle the ball. Hamilton, Gary Johnson, and Cory Joseph, three Longhorns who are excellent at ball control, committed multiple turnovers and eight overall. Joseph committed the controversial five second violation at the end of the game that gave Arizona the opportunity to win late. Sads.
Other numbers: Both Texas and Arizona crashed the offensive glass quite well--the Horns dominating the offensive glass was expected, but Derrick Williams and Solomon Hill made their mark with four offensive rebounds apiece ... Arizona, usually an excellent free throw shooting team, undid a lot of their three point work by missing eight free throws, six missed freebies from the usually solid Williams (74% before this game); Texas hit 82%, Arizona 64% from the charity stripe.
For more reaction on the game, head on over to Arizona Desert Swarm (U of A) & Burnt Orange Nation (Texas) for further discussion.