Arizona Wildcats eliminated by Houston in Sweet 16 of NCAA Tournament

Mar 24, 2022, 9:33 PM | Updated: 11:01 pm
Houston forward Fabian White Jr., right, blocks a shot by Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin during t...
Houston forward Fabian White Jr., right, blocks a shot by Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin during the second half of a college basketball game in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday, March 24, 2022, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The Arizona Wildcats are no longer dancing.

The No. 1 seed in the South Region — and No. 2 team in the country — was eliminated in the Sweet 16 by the No. 5 seeded Houston Cougars, 72-60. Houston led the entirety of the ballgame.

“I think we really built some foundational pieces this year that are really going to serve us well moving forward,” Arizona head coach Tommy Lloyd told reporters postgame.

“Extremely proud of the guys. Extremely proud of the coaching staff,” Lloyd said. “We ran into a really good team tonight that was just a little bit too much for us.”

Coming into the contest, Houston’s stifling defense was tied for third in the nation holding opponents under 60 points scored a total of 19 times this season. Arizona on the other hand came in with one of the country’s best offenses averaging 85 points per game.

The Wildcats were held to 34% shooting despite guard Kerr Kriisa being inserted back into the starting lineup after coming off the bench earlier in the NCAA Tournament due to an ankle injury he suffered in the Pac-12 tourney.

Kriisa and forward Azuolas Tubelis combined for five points on 1-of-15 from the field on the night. The duo also combined for six turnovers, with the Lithuanian Tubelis having a team-high of four. Guard Dalen Terry led Arizona with 17 points, followed by Bennedict Mathurin with 15 and Christian Koloko’s 10.

“It was a tough game. There’s a lot of things we could have done better to win the game,” Mathurin said. “I don’t have a lot to say.”

Houston was led by guards Jamal Shead and Kyler Edwards, who combined for 40 points. Shead had a game-high 21 points, while Edwards’ 19 points were more than any Arizona scorer.

The Cougars move on to the Elite 8 where they will face the No. 2 seed Villanova Wildcats.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Penguin Air

Arizona Basketball

UCLA plays Oregon during a Pac-12 NCAA college football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., ...
Arizona Sports

UCLA, USC to leave Pac-12 for Big Ten in 2024

UCLA and USC will be leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten, beginning in the 2024-25 season, the two schools confirmed on Thursday evening.
1 day ago
Arizona Sports

Toronto Raptors take Arizona C Christian Koloko 33rd in NBA Draft

Christian Koloko gave the Wildcats three draft picks in the first 33 selections of the NBA Draft, as the Raptors plucked him off the board.
8 days ago
Dalen Terry #4 of the Arizona Wildcats reacts after hitting a a 3-pointer against the UCLA Bruins d...
Arizona Sports

Arizona basketball’s Dalen Terry drafted 18th by Bulls

Dalen Terry became the second Arizona Wildcats draftee to ship off to the midwest, heading to the Chicago Bulls.
8 days ago
Guard Bennedict Mathurin #0 of the Arizona Wildcats smiles on the sidelines during the game against...
Arizona Sports

Former Wildcat Bennedict Mathurin picked 6th by Indiana Pacers

Former Arizona Wildcat Bennedict Mathurin was selected by the Indiana Pacers with the sixth overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
8 days ago
Bennedict Mathurin #0 of the Arizona Wildcats stands on the court during a game against the Wichita...
Arizona Sports

Arizona’s Bennedict Mathurin cementing in top-10 of NBA mock drafts

Arizona's Bennedict Mathurin was mocked to the Pacers at No. 6 by both ESPN's Jonathan Givony and The Athletic's NBA staff Thursday morning.
8 days ago
Nikash Nath

Bennedict Mathurin rising in ESPN NBA mock a week out from draft

Former Arizona Wildcat Bennedict Mathurin is quietly approaching the top five of Jonathan Givony's latest NBA mock draft. 
13 days ago
Arizona Wildcats eliminated by Houston in Sweet 16 of NCAA Tournament