Wildcats secure Sweet 16 spot with thrilling victory over Dayton – Find out the final score here!

SALT LAKE CITY—Arizona played its best and worst basketball in the same game Saturday. Fortunately, there was more of the former, especially down the stretch.

The second-seeded Wildcats led for the final 37 minutes, though at times tried hard to blow a 17-point lead at the half, in a 78-68 victory over No. 7 Dayton in the second round of the NCAA. Tournament at the Delta Center.

The victory advances UA (27-8) to its second Sweet 16 in three years. tommy lloyd. The Wildcats will play Thursday in the West Region semifinals in Los Angeles against No. 3 Baylor or No. 6 Clemson, who play Sunday in Memphis.

Arizona shot 52.8 percent, including 64 percent in the 1street half, and hit 8 of 18 3-pointers while holding Dayton (25-8) to 29.2 percent from outside. The Flyers came in shooting 40.2 percent from 3.

love caleb led the UA with 19 points, 13 of them in the first 12 minutes, while Keshad Johnson and Pelle Larsson I was 13 and Jaden Bradley added 12 off the bench. The Wildcats' reserves outscored Dayton's reserves 23-2.

Dayton, which shot 40.7 percent overall, got 23 points and 11 rebounds from the former UA target. Daron Holmes II.

Arizona led 40-33 at halftime after being up 17, when Dayton entered the locker room on a 10-0 run and scored nine points off 11 UA turnovers. Johnson hit a 3-pointer to get the lead back to 10 before the Flyers scored six straight to pull within 43-39 with 15:07 left.

After shooting 64 percent in the 1street half, Arizona missed 6 of 7 to open the 2ndNorth Dakota half.

TO Koby Brea 3 cut it to 52-49 with 11:42 remaining, but the Wildcats quickly regained the cushion to at least two scores. They got the lead back to double digits at 63-51 with 7:50 left in a KJ Lewis get away from a Kylan Boswell steal later Larsson hit a 3-pointer on the previous possession.

TO Bradley 3 made the score 66-51 with 6:51 left when the same type of carelessness that reduced the large first-half lead reappeared. That allowed Dayton to go on a 6-0 run and get within nine.

The Wildcats also decided to slow things down in halfcourt, and that resulted in a Bradley drive and a reverse and Larsson hitting a missed jumper, both with the shot clock winding down. Larsson then committed an offensive foul on Holmes, which became a flagrant, but UA only earned one point as Larsson made 1 of 2 free throws and did not score on the ensuing possession.

A 3-point play by Holmes made the score 71-62 with 2:13 left, and two more free throws made it a 7-point game with 55.1 seconds left, but Boswell made two free throws and then Bradley stripped Holmes in the paint. Lewis then made two at the line, part of an 8-for-8 performance in the final 53 seconds.

Arizona came in early and often to start, with its first five shots (and three hits) coming in the paint. That opened things up for Love to start hitting from the outside, his first 3 of a 12-2 run for a 17-8 lead that included a 2-long step back.

The Flyers didn't attempt their first 3 until the 12:26 mark of the 1street half, with Brea tossed it into the air, but Brea hit a pair in the next two minutes to pull Dayton within 20-14.

Two Love 3 more and a couple of Omar Ballo Inside scores increased the score to 30-16 with 7:37 left, and the lead increased to 40-23 with 2:43 left before halftime. But then Arizona got sloppy with its passing, ball-handling and footwork, turning it over four times in the final 2:06 to give Dayton the fuel to cut the score to seven at halftime.

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