Arizona v Belmont

Belmont loses to Arizona, another ugly tourney performance

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Mark Lyons led four scorers in double figures with 23 points as No. 6 seed Arizona knocked off No. 11 Belmont 81-64.

Kerron Johnson and Ian Clark combined for 43 points, but the Bruins dug themselves a massive hole early in the game with their inability to get a defensive rebound — or, for that matter, make a shot — in the first half.

For the third consecutive season, Belmont entered the tournament as a trendy upset pick. And for the third consecutive season, the Bruins were sent home on the wrong end of a tail-whipping.

The biggest issue here is that the Bruins simply looked outclassed. Clark and Johnson are both terrific. They are mid-major all-american caliber guards, and Clark is good enough that he’s drawn some looks from NBA scouts. But Belmont simply didn’t have the size or the athleticism to handle Arizona, a team chock full of top 25 recruits and big men with NBA potential.

Arizona moves on to play the winner of No. 3 New Mexico and No. 14 Harvard. The Wildcats will be an interesting team to watch if they continue to play the way they did on Thursday. Talent isn’t the issue for Sean Miller’s club; they’ve got plenty of it. It’s point guard play and cohesion offensively.

We’ve seen teams with issues put it all together and make a run to — and through — the second weekend, and Arizona certainly has the talent to do that.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

VIDEO: Monmouth hits a game-winner, Bench Mob member tries to disrobe

King Rice
AP
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Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.

The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:

No. 17 Arizona erases double-digit deficit to beat UCLA

Arizona coach Sean Miller reacts to a foul call during the first half of Arizona's NCAA college basketball game against UCLA, Friday, Feb 12, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
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Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.

UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.

Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.

All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.

The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.