With just over eight minutes remaining in their opening round matchup with the Princeton Tigers, the 2-seed Arizona Wildcats extended their lead to 10. While they did not look to be at their best, the Pac-12 Tournament champions seemed to have found enough of a groove to help them move on to the second round.
Fast forward to the end of the game and the Tigers managed to pull the upset. The 15 seed in the South region finished the evening on a 9-0 run, took their first lead of the entire game with only 2:01 left on the night, and completely shut down the high-powered Wildcat offense. By the time the final horn sounded, Princeton celebrated its historic, 59-55 victory.
Despite coming into the game with the fifth-best offense in the nation according to KenPom, Arizona had its worst scoring output of the year and only converted 42.1 percent of its attempts from the field. It left the door open for the Tigers all evening, and after an Azuolas Tubelis bucket with 4:45 left, the Wildcats did not score again. Princeton kept chipping away, and eventually, a Ryan Langborg layup through contact put them ahead.
PRINCETON LEADS #MarchMadness @PrincetonMBB pic.twitter.com/fzDGNOB2FC
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 16, 2023
Princeton’s defense came up gigantic, as the Wildcats struggled to get a good look for the remainder of the game. And with just over 20 seconds left, a stunning pass by Zach Martini to Caden Pierce led to the foul and pair of free throws that made it a three-point game, while multiple Arizona misses on the ensuing possession let Tosan Evbuomwan ice things from the charity stripe.
Oh, what a pass! pic.twitter.com/7edJLT6PbS
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 16, 2023
THE PRINCETON TIGERS!!!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/zW8B3cwhDP
— Mr Matthew CFB (@MrMatthewCFB) March 16, 2023
The win means we’re getting an all-Tigers contest in the round of 32, as Princeton will take on Missouri.