Arizona in a battle with Buffalo in NCAA Tournament first round


"We felt like the way to stop Ayton was to go after (Arizona's) guards to stop the big guy, and that is what Buffalo did".

Egor Koulechov has 13 points to lead Florida, which was leading 54-37 with less than 10 minutes remaining in an East Region first-round game. LSU lost to Navy by 23 in the 1985 tournament, and in 1999, 12th seeded Missouri State beat No. 4 Tennessee by 30 in a second-round game. The Wildcats have won eight of their last nine games, and rolled through the SEC Tournament to a championship, beating Tennessee on March 11. United Kingdom does not shoot the ball well from behind the arc, meaning Buffalo may have a real chance to win this game.

Heading into the game, SU had an 0-7 record when they were outrebounded this season.

"We don't feel like they have as much depth as we do", Massinburg said.

Both teams have struggled this year against other teams have also made it into the NCAA Tournament. But Arizona's loss to Buffalo was seemingly out of nowhere. Five Kentucky players average at least 9.5 ppg.

"This feeling right now — it stings, it burns", said Kodi Justice, who led Arizona State with 15 points. "Kentucky is a very good team, as we all know". Eighth seeded USC, and a pair of ten seeds, Arizona and Oregon State, also lost their first games.

Arizona dealt with a ton of problems during the season, but here they are, going into the tournament with a full roster.

The Sun Devils are 1.5-point favorites in this matchup.

This game will be a battle of styles, with the Sun Devils' 14th-ranked offense going head-to-head with Syracuse's 16th-ranked defense. Clark previously played for Buffalo Head Coach Nate Oats when both were at Romulus HS in MI.

The Pac-12 was in a similar predicament in 2012. So I got a little chip on my shoulder. It was a two-point game at the break before the Bulls dominated the game in all aspects to send the Wildcats home early.

The Sun Devils often were at their best in the second half, averaging 44.5 points.

Dusan Ristic had 16 points, Deandre Ayton had 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Allonzo Trier had 10 points for the Wildcats (27-8). I expect it to be a fairly high-scoring affair with the Bulls averaging the third-most points per game in the nation at 84.7.

"The biggest thing here, what causes everybody problems, is when Harris pulls down the rebound and brings it up himself, that screws up all your transition defensive principles, " Hawkins said.

A few times, Arizona tried to guard him with the 7-foot-1 Ayton.

"They're big. They've got two seven-footers", said Bulls head coach Nate Oats. "The whole goal this season was to make the tournament".