Welp, sorry about that. The Arizona Wildcats came into the NCAA as one of the trendy picks to win the entire thing, behind a talented roster led by arguably the best player in America in big man Deandre Ayton. The Buffalo Bulls, meanwhile, was a MAC squad that made it into the Tournament on the strength of a conference title game victory.
Las Vegas thought the Wildcats were a 9.5-point favorite. KenPom had Arizona winning by six. Buffalo laughed at both of those, including people (including yours truly) who thought the Wildcats were going to make a run to the title game, and just beat the unholy crap out of Arizona.
The No. 13 Bulls came out on top over the No. 4 Wildcats, 89-68. The way they did this was by getting unfathomably hot from behind the arc, just hoisting up jumpers and having them go in.
Buffalo ended the game an incredible 15-for-30 from three. One of them was this banked in shot by C.J. Massinburg. You know you are having a good day when you bank in a three like this.
Obviously, in a game like this, all eyes are on the performance of Ayton. The potential No. 1 overall pick went for 14 points on 6-for-13 shooting with 13 rebounds, as the Bulls really keyed in on slowing him down (plus there were stretches where the Wildcats really struggled to give him the ball). But the Bulls’ offense really stole the show, as Wes Clark had 25 points, Jeremy Harris had 23 points, Massinburg had 19 points, and Nick Perkins had 13 points.
The story will be Arizona losing, but all credit in the world to Buffalo, which mashed one of the top teams in America with a National Player of the Year contender. Next up, they’ll play Kentucky on Saturday.