Arizona defeated Texas in a close game on Sunday and will now play Duke on Thursday. After the game, there was plenty to focus on, including an ending that has generated some controversy.
"Well, it was a very hard-fought game, and I know there were a couple of tough calls at the end, some that go your way and some that don't," Arizona coach Sean Miller said. "But I like to put the focus on the players and the way the game was played.
"Every coach, every player has been on both sides of this where you feel like you've won the game and it goes another way, and sometimes it goes your way. Tonight it went our way. But we needed to make big plays at end. Don't let them get the ball inbounds. Execute an underneath, out of bounds play. Get a big stop. We did all three."
One of the plays that was executed was when Derrick Williams hit a shot that tied the game at 69 and allowed Arizona a chance to get the lead.
"We ran one of our best plays to get one of our best shooters open," Williams said. "He wasn't open at the time, so he called for a ball screen. I set the ball screen, and I hesitated for a second and he was looking right at me so I can roll.
"So I finally rolled. When I shot the ball, I was looking down so I could catch myself from a hard fall. I was surprised it went in, actually. I didn't know it went in until MoMo picked me up."
For the second game in a row Williams made a play that allowed Arizona to seal the victory, and afterward, was humble about his actions.
"I'm not surprised by the block against Memphis, but I am a little surprised by the shot I made today," Williams said. "I haven't seen the replay yet, but I wasn't looking at the basket. I was looking down, so I wouldn't have a hard fall. Surprised it went in, but at the same time I'm glad it went in.
"You know, my teammates look for me at the end of the games to seal the victory. That's what I do. If we would have lost the game, I would have taken it really hard on my self knowing that I didn't have a great game. A lot of people on my team feed off of me. I'm glad everybody picked me up. It was one of the only games this season where my teammates picked me up, especially Solomon. He had a lot of post moves and a lot of NBA post moves, put backs, rebounds. I think he was the second leading rebounder on our team. So if we didn't have him playing aggressive and hard tonight, we would have lost this game."
Although Arizona is still alive in the tournament and has more goals to reach, Solomon Hill believes that the win shows that the Wildcats have re-emerged.
"Not too many people had us winning this game," Hill said. "I thought as a team if we pulled together and everybody came through with our deep rotation of ten men, you could see it wore them out. They had to really rely on Brown during the game. He made the plays when they called on him. But I thought our rotation really got into him.
"Jordin was able to come off the bench and contribute, and so was Brendon Lavender. People don't understand how we play. We have ten guys in the game, and we can get the ball up the floor and execute. Even on our defensive end, we clamped down on defense in the first half, and we kind of let it go in the second half."
After the game, Miller was clear that he felt Arizona was able to beat Texas because of its depth, which includes numerous younger players.
"We probably don't get enough credit because of Derrick's great season that he's had of a lot of different players contributing," Miller said. "You look at Jordin Mayes, he missed one shot this weekend as a freshman. Brendon Lavender came in and made two big threes. Solomon Hill played the best game that he's played at Arizona, both defensively, offensively, rebounding.
"There were many times that Solomon's play tonight was the reason we continued to stay in the game or keep our lead. So we are pretty diverse in terms of getting contributions from a lot of players, and we've played those players now 36 games we've played ten players. In a tournament like this, to me, we had some poise when they came into the game, and it was great to see."
Williams shares the same motivation as his teammates, as he feels he has been given an opportunity to prove numerous people wrong.
"Today everybody had us losing," Williams said after the game. "And we all took that to heart. You always want to be -- you never want to be the underdog, but today we were the underdog, and we wanted to prove that we could beat anybody. We have more games to win. Two down, four more to go. That's all I can say about that."
Wildcats talk about motivation after win
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