The Arizona Wildcats face their first real test of the NCAA Tournament when they take on Ohio State Buckeyes Thursday night in the Round of 16 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
As the two remaining top seeds in the blown up and wide open West Region, the second-seeded Buckeyes have an excellent chance to reach their 12th Final Four in school history.
Thad Matta’s club needed some final second heroics from junior guard Aaron Craft, who drained a three-pointer with a half-second remaining to beat a scrappy Iowa State team, 78-75.
Craft had 18 points and six assists and Deshaun Thomas contributed 22 points, sending the Buckeyes to their fourth-straight Sweet 16.
Thomas is averaging 23 points and 61.5 percent shooting in the tournament.
The Wildcats have had a much smoother ride, and have the potential to make their second Elite Eight in three years. Arizona pummeled upstart Harvard, 74-51, behind Mark Lyons's 27 points, and Solomon Hill’s 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Lyons knocked down three three-pointers, and Arizona shot 55 percent from the floor. The Wildcats shot an impressive 9-for-15 from beyond the arc.
The winner faces No. 9 Wichita State or No. 13 La Salle in the Elite Eight.
The game tips-off at 7:45 p.m. Eastern and will be broadcast by TBS, or watch a free live online stream at the NCAA March Madness official site here.
Betting Odds: The Buckeyes are favored by 4 points
Over/Under: 134 points
Prediction: Craft should drape Lyons throughout the game, and Arizona will have to find another source for scoring. Hill and Thomas will battle for the game's high score, but the Buckeyes should win the rebounding battle and the game.
Predicted Score: Ohio State 68, Arizona 60
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