The West region of the 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket has its final two teams. The Wildcats jumped out to an 11-point halftime lead, but Texas came storming back in the second, setting up yet another wild finish as both teams duked it out for a spot in the Sweet Sixteen.
J’Covan Brown was almost single-handedly responsible for Texas’ comeback in the second, providing a spark on offense as the Longhorns clawed back into it. Brown scored four-straight points to give Texas a one-point lead with just over two minutes to go before Derrick Williams knotted it up again.
Both teams traded hollow offensive possessions, with Texas missing two shots badly and Arizona turned it over, before Brown nailed a pull-up jumper in the lane to give the Longhorns a two-point lead with a minute to go.
Out of a timeout, Derrick Williams put himself in prime position to tie it up again, but Jordan Hamilton came up big for the Longhorns, holding his ground and forcing a tough contested shot. Williams didn’t even draw iron, Texas got the rebound and called a timeout, but the action was just getting started.
Out of a timeout, Texas was unable to get the ball inbounds and was whistled for a five second call. Williams redeemed himself after the turnover, connecting on a runner and drawing the foul, earning a chance to give Arizona the lead with a free throw. The free throw was pure, but Texas had one last shot.
Brown’s runner was no good on the other end just before the buzzer and the Wildcats had a 70-69 win.
Brown finished with a game-high 23 points for the Longhorns. Derrick Williams recovered from a slow start to finish with 17 points, including that game-winning free throw.
Arizona moves on to face Duke in the Sweet Sixteen. The Blue Devils hung on to beat Michigan earlier in the day.
Here’s a look at the West region of the bracket. For a full 2011 NCAA Tournament printable bracket, stop by SB Nation.
No. 1 Duke Blue Devils def. No. 8 Michigan Wolverines, 73-71
No. 5 Arizona Wildcats def No. 4 Texas Longhorns, 70-69
No. 3 Connecticut Huskies def. No. 6 Cincinnati Bearcats, 69-58
No. 2 San Diego State def. No. 7 Temple Owls, 71-64