ARIZONA BASKETBALL

Oumar Ballo Nerf-hoop dunks it in Arizona’s Sweet 16 loss to Clemson

Mar 28, 2024, 5:17 PM | Updated: 7:12 pm

Arizona Wildcats center Oumar Ballo against Clemson in the Sweet 16...

Oumar Ballo #11 of the Arizona Wildcats reacts in a game against the Clemson Tigers during the first half in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Crypto.com Arena on March 28, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Clemson had it going to begin its Sweet 16 game. Arizona was turning it over and missing shots.

But the No. 2 Wildcats against the No. 6 seeded Tigers briefly showed some pop late during the first half of the 77-72 NCAA Tournament loss Thursday in Los Angeles.

A rare highlight for Arizona was guard Jaden Bradley’s lob to center Oumar Ballo to make a little something off what appeared to be a broken play.

Ballo caught the high lob pass and rose up before retreating defender P.J. Hall could stop his roll, slamming the ball straight down the net to complete an alley-oop you might find more often at a mini-hoop hanging on the top of a bedroom door.

Arizona trailed 39-31 after the first half, a relatively close game considering the Wildcats’ eight turnovers and 41% shooting to 53% allowed to Clemson. The Wildcats would eventually tie the game and briefly lead in the second half, but the defense couldn’t contain the Tigers and the offense couldn’t find the bottom of the net from deep.

Ballo finished with 15 points and 15 boards as Arizona’s two best players, Caleb Love and Pelle Larsson, combined for just 21 points and five turnovers on 7-of-27 shooting.

Bradley led the Wildcats with 18 points and added three assists and two blocks in the Sweet 16 loss to Clemson.

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Oumar Ballo Nerf-hoop dunks it in Arizona’s Sweet 16 loss to Clemson