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Arizona, Purdue, Miami claim final men's Sweet 16 spots in NCAA tourney

Bennedict Mathurin scored 30 points and totaled eight rebounds in a win over TCU to punch Arizona's ticket to the Sweet 16. Photo by Mike Christy/Arizona Athletics
Bennedict Mathurin scored 30 points and totaled eight rebounds in a win over TCU to punch Arizona's ticket to the Sweet 16. Photo by Mike Christy/Arizona Athletics

March 21 (UPI) -- Arizona, Purdue, Miami and Texas Tech claimed the last four spots in the Sweet 16 of the 2022 NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament, edging their second-round foes and moving one step closer to a national title.

Arizona completed the slate with an 85-80 overtime victory over TCU in San Diego Sunday night. Sophomore guard Bennedict Mathurin scored 30 points and totaled eight rebounds for the No. 1 Wildcats. Junior center Christian Koloko chipped in 28 points and 12 rebounds in the victory.

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"We came all the way from Tucson, Ariz., to San Diego for a reason," Mathurin told reporters. "We came here to win. We knew we had the fans cheering for us and giving us energy."

Senior forward Chuck O'Bannon Jr. totaled 23 points for TCU in the loss. Eddie Lampkin and Mike Miles scored 20 points apiece for the Horned Frogs.

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The Wildcats shot 45.6% in the win. The Horned Frogs started the game on an 8-0 run, but the Wildcats responded with a 10-3 spark to earn an 18-17 edge midway through the first half. The teams continued to fight and exchange the lead, but the Wildcats held a 39-36 edge at the break.

The Horned Frogs scored the first two baskets of the second half to take another lead. They then added a 7-0 run to push their advantage to six points later in the half, but Arizona rallied about five minutes later to snatch momentum.

The Wildcats led by nine points with about eight minutes to go. The Horned Frogs answered with a 12-0 run to take a 70-67 edge with 3:39 left in regulation. Lampkin later hit a free throw to give TCU a 73-70 lead with 67 seconds remaining in the second half.

Mathurin responded with a dunk on the other end to cut the lead to one point, but Lampkin answered with another made layup. Mathurin then hit a 3-pointer with 14 seconds remaining to force overtime.

Koloko made a free throw 1:21 into the bonus period to give the Wildcats another edge, but Emanuel Miller responded with a go-ahead shot for the Horned Frogs.

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Arizona then scored the next five-consecutive points and never trailed again. Koloko made a game-tying free throw to start the rally. Mathurin followed with a layup and two made free throws for an 81-77 edge with 2:08 remaining.

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Miles made a jump shot and a free throw to cut the deficit to one point with 1:44 remaining, but Mathurin responded with a clutch put-back shot at the rim to push the Wildcats' lead back to three.

Koloko emphasized the victory with a powerful offensive rebound and dunk in the final seconds. The Horned Frogs missed on two final 3-point attempts on the next possession.

"I knew this was going to be a hard game," Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said. "I tried to tell our guys. ... They get a ton of credit. They were really hard to play against."

Eight total games aired Sunday to complete the second-wave of second-round meetings. No. 5 Houston started the night with a 68-53 win over No. 4 Illinois. No. 2 Villonanova followed with a 71-61 victory over No. 7 Ohio State. No. 2 Duke then beat No. 7 Michigan State 85-76 to advance to the Sweet 16.

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No. 11 Iowa State followed with a 54-49 win over No. 3 Wisconsin. No. 3 Texas Tech eliminated No. 11 Notre Dame with a 59-53 win Sunday in San Diego.

No. 10 Miami beat No. 2 Auburn 79-61 on Sunday in Greenville, S.C. No. 3 Purdue then advanced to the Sweet 16 with an 81-71 win over No. 6 Texas.

Top seeds Gonzaga and Kansas, No. 8 North Carolina, No. 11 Michigan, No. 4 UCLA, No. 4 Providence, No. 4 Arkansas and No. 15 Saint Peters were among the teams who advanced Saturday in second-round games.

Sweet 16 games air Thursday and Friday. The Elite Eight airs Saturday and Sunday. The Final Four and National Championship game air April 2 and 4, respectively.

No. 1 Gonzaga faces No. 4 Arkansas to launch the Sweet 16 at 7:09 p.m. EDT Thursday on CBS.

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