In a stunning showcase of defensive prowess, Clemson stifled Caleb Love and the No. 2 Arizona Wildcats, securing a monumental 77-72 victory at Arena. This triumph marks Clemson’s first Elite Eight appearance since 1980, showcasing a resurgence in their basketball program.

Throughout the matchup, Clemson’s defense proved unyielding, holding Arizona’s offense at bay for significant stretches. Despite Arizona’s valiant efforts, they succumbed to Clemson’s defensive pressure, resulting in their fourth consecutive Sweet 16 defeat and marking yet another setback under the leadership of head coach Tommy Lloyd.

Clemson’s dominance was evident from the outset, with an early 16-6 run setting the tone for the contest. Notably, Clemson’s Chase Hunter delivered a standout defensive play by denying Oumar Ballo at the rim, while Chauncey Wiggins capitalized on the momentum with a crucial 3-pointer.

Though Arizona rallied briefly in the second half, led by Love’s resurgence, they were unable to sustain their offensive momentum. Clemson’s resolute defense forced Arizona into a prolonged shooting slump, enabling Clemson to maintain control of the game.

Despite a late surge from Arizona, highlighted by Jaden Bradley’s clutch 3-pointer, Clemson remained composed. Hunter’s pivotal and-one layup, followed by Dillon Hunter’s decisive three-point play, sealed Clemson’s historic victory.

Statistically, Clemson’s PJ Hall and Chase Hunter spearheaded the offensive effort, while Arizona’s Ballo and Bradley led their team’s scoring charge.

With this monumental win, Clemson advances to face Alabama in the Elite Eight, setting the stage for a thrilling showdown. Meanwhile, Arizona faces a disappointing exit from the tournament, further fueling their determination for future success.



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