No. 2 seed Arizona upset by Princeton in 1st round of NCAA Tournament
The No. 15 seed Princeton Tigers upset the No. 2 seed Arizona Wildcats 59-55 on Thursday in the NCAA Tournament first-round game.
Azuolas Tubelis scored 22 points to lead the Wildcats, but it was far from a clean game for him and his teammates.
Tubelis turned the ball over six times and struggled from the field against a Princeton team that clogged the paint and ran shooters off the three-point line.
Arizona went 3-for-16 from deep and only got to the foul stripe seven times. Meanwhile, the Tigers hung around despite shooting 41% and just 4-of-25 from three.
Tosan Evbuomwan scored 15 points to go with seven rebounds and four assists for Princeton.
For Arizona, Tubelis and center Oumar Ballo provided the large bulk of their team’s offense, combining for 35.
— Chris Watkins (@ChrisMWatkins) March 16, 2023
Ballo added 13 points and 12 rebounds, and guard Courtney Ramey’s eight points was the height of Arizona’s contributions from its perimeter players.
The Wildcats led 31-30 at halftime after an 8-0 Princeton run to end the half and had a combined eight points contributed from players not named Tubelis or Ballo.
The Wildcats’ three primary wings in Courtney Ramey, Cedric Henderson Jr. and Pelle Larsson accounted for just two points and took a combined four attempts.
Meanwhile, Arizona head coach Tommy Lloyd made a semi-irregular rotation decision, tagging in freshman center Henri Veesaar coming out of a timeout he called after the Wildcats allowed a straight-line drive lead to a dunk.
The Tigers led the Wildcats in points in the paint, 24-16, in the first half. Their control on the game continued into the second after taking a few early punches.
The Wildcats stretched the lead to double-digits at multiple points in the second half, but Princeton pulled within 55-54 with 2:24 left in the game and went ahead for good with 2:03 to play.
This story was first published by Sactown Sports‘ sister station, Arizona Sports.