Arizona narrowly missed beating a second-half buzzer, and narrowly missed winning the 2022 NCAA men’s tournament’s most dramatic game with a walk-off dunk — but then, with celebrations cut short and San Diego stunned, the top-seeded Wildcats staved off TCU’s upset bid and won in overtime, 85-80.
With the tournament’s final second-round game tied at 75, and with three seconds to play, Arizona forced a TCU turnover. Dalen Terry pounced and raced down the court as clocks raced toward zero.
He glided to the rim as 0.3 seconds became 0.2 and 0.1.
He dropped an orange ball through a gaping hoop, and sprinted across the court in elation.
But the buzzer had sounded a tenth of a second too soon. His hands had pulled back a tenth of a second too late. Referees waved off the winner. Terry’s mouth hung open in disbelief.
Arizona, though, recovered from the heartbreak and responded. Bennedict Mathurin, the star of the show, took hold of it late in OT. His 25th and 26th points gave Arizona a two-point lead with under three minutes to go. His 29th and 30th put them up three with 70 seconds remaining.
Christian Koloko, who scored 28 on 12-of-13 shooting, sealed victory with a dunk after all.