ALBUQUERQUE, March 16 (UPI) -- Luke Walton scored 21 points and freshman Channing Frye added 18 and 11 rebounds Saturday as the third-seeded Arizona Wildcats survived a second straight scare to advance to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 with a 68-60 victory over No. 11 Wyoming in the West Region.
Arizona (24-9), which reached the final 16 for the ninth time since 1988, will face either Oklahoma and Xavier in the regional semifinals in San Jose. The Sooners and Musketeers square off Sunday.
"It feels good to be a team that maybe was supposed to go to the NIT make the Sweet 16," Walton said. "There's no better feeling."
After losing four starters from last year's team that fell to Duke in the national championship game, Arizona faced uncertainty heading into this season.
"We just flat out had no idea what to expect," Olson said. "When we went to New York (for the Coaches vs. Cancer game), we could have lost by 30. It wouldn't have surprised me because we had no idea how our young players would respond."
But the Wildcats have got it together at the right time and their current six-game winning streak is the longest of the season. Still, it has not been easy in the NCAA Tournament
The Wildcats sweated out an 86-81 victory over 14th-seeded Santa Barbara, then overcame a hostile crowd to get past the pesky Cowboys (22-9), who stunned Gonzaga in the first round.
Josh Davis collected 17 points and 11 rebounds for Wyoming, which was trying to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1987, when the Cowboys last won an NCAA Tournament game.
"They definitely were pesky," Olson said. "It looked we had them on the run a couple times and they came back. We had trouble with their penetration."
Marcus Bailey also scored 17 points for Wyoming while Uche Nsonwu-Amadi also recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
But Frye made life difficult in the paint for the Cowboys, blocking five shots and redirecting a number of others. Wyoming only shot 41 percent from the field.
"I've said it before," Olson said. "I think Channing has a chance to be the best big man we've had here. The big thing with Channing is he needs to stay focused. At times, he loses that aggressiveness and when that happens, he's not half the player he can be."
After losing to New Mexico here in 1998, Olson said he would never again play at "The Pit". The New Mexico fans have not forgotten those comments and booed Olson when he walked onto the court before the game.
Arizona had a huge advantage at the foul line, converting 20 of 28 free throws to just four of seven for the Cowboys. Wyoming has won 16 times at "The Pit" -- more than any other visiting team.
Olson was asked if he could have imagined such a discrepancy in one of his least favorite venues.
"Not if we were playing New Mexico, I wouldn't," he said. "The atmosphere was great. I think it's great the fans were as vocal as they were. That's what our kids like. It doesn't matter whether you're yelling for us or yelling against us, as long as you're yelling."
Arizona erased an early 19-15 deficit with a 14-0 run, taking a 29-25 lead on Walton's driving with six remaining in the first half.
Wyoming closed to within 58-55 on Davis' jumper with 4:47 remaining. But Walton, who was only eight of 20 from the field, hit two straight jumpers to give Arizona a 62-55 cushion.
Davis dunked to bring the Cowboys within 64-59 with 1:39 left, then hit one of two from the line to make it a four-point game with 59 seconds to go.
But Rick Anderson grabbed a crucial offensive rebound for Arizona after Jason Gardner, who scored 14 points, missed the front end of a one and one with 52 seconds left.
Walton hit two foul shots nine seconds later to give Arizona a six-point lead and Wyoming came up empty on its final two possessions.
Jason Straight scored 12 points and Nsonwu-Amadi added 10 for the Cowboys.