How sweet it is!

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—The Arizona 68-60 win over Wyoming was microcosm of the strange season. Nothing came easy for this team and nothing came easy for the Wildcats. Arizona could not shake the Cowboys in a game that was in doubt until the final minute.

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Luke Walton was a catalyst all year and nothing changed in this game. The junior forward led the Cats 21 points and nine rebounds. After struggling in the first half, Walton found an effective move and used it repeatedly. Time after time Walton drove the side of the lane and finished with a pull-up leaner.

"I was trying to get to the hole and make contact," Walton said. "It was working and since it was working I kept with it."

Freshmen were key for the Wildcats all year and it was Channing Frye who came up big against the physical Cowboys. Frye returned to mid-season form and scored 18 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and swatted away five shots.

Arizona opened the game perfectly, jumping out to an 8-0 lead. The Wildcats scored on their first three field goals, forcing Wyoming to call a timeout less than 3:00 into the contest. Anderson scored in the game's first ten-seconds when he drained a three-pointer form the top of the key. Frye followed with a 15-footer and Walton hit his lone three of the day to force Steve McClain to regroup his troops.

Wyoming responded after the timeout with a 14-3 run. Uche Nsonwu-Amadi tied the score with four straight points and Marcus Bailey hit a three to give the Cowboys a 14-11 lead.

Arizona trailed by as many as four, but scored 14 straight. A Salim Stoudamire three-pointer from the wing gave Arizona the lead. Just 3:29 later a Jason Gardner free throw capped the drive and gave the Wildcats a 30-21 lead.

Gardner struggled from the field hitting just 4-of-13, and connecting on just one three pointer. However, the point guard dished out eight assists, pulled down five rebounds and when he hot two free throws in the game's final minute he moved past Sean Rooks into tenth place on the all-time scoring list.

The Wildcats came out and scored four quick points to open the second half, but the ‘Pokes answered with four of their own. The teams traded buckets over the next four minutes until a Josh Davis dunk and a Bailey lay-in had the Cowboys within three, 42-39.

Davis was huge for the Cowboys in the second half. The senior scored 13 of his 17 points in the final 20:00 and was a beast on the offensive glass keeping possessions alive four times.

Arizona built up a 10-point lead with a 9-2 run, but saw it trimmed to 51-45 following consecutive baskets by Paris Corner and Bailey.

The Cowboys kept it close by playing tough on the offensive glass. Twice in the final 6:00 Wyoming cut the lead to three but each time Walton answered with a tough basket.

"Luke stepped up big time," Gardner said.

"Every time we cut it to three he (Walton) got a basket," McClain said.

Arizona advances to the Sweet-16 for the second consecutive year. They play the winner of the Xavier/Oklahoma game on Thursday in San Jose, California.

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