Arizona wins first Maui title since 2000 in hard fought affair

An early battle of unbeatens, as both Arizona and San Diego State put their 6-0 records on the line late Wednesday night/Wednesday afternoon in Hawaii.

Neither team gave into the other.  The Aztecs raced to an early 16-11 lead, thanks to a trey by Dwayne Polee II.  Arizona got back on track late in the first half with Trey York, Gabe York, and Winston Shepard making huge plays–especially in the rebounding department.  The Wildcats led by the slimmest of margins at 32-31 going into halftime.
The second half had the lead changing hands five times in the first 12 minutes and 12 seconds.  Arizona finally wrestled control late in the contest, sealing things up at the foul line in the final seconds.  However, San Diego State managed to make things very interesting in the final 17 seconds.  Sandwiched between a pair of free throws by JJ O’Brien, Trey Kell converted a rare four-point play and Shepard nailed a 3 with less than a second left, but it wasn’t enough to complete the comeback for the Aztecs.  The final score was 61-59, simply a great game worthy of being included in the history of this great tournament.

Other noteworthy news…

Rick Pitino won his 700th career game as Louisville struggled to get past Cleveland State 45-33.  The Cardinals ended up shooting 15 of 47 for only 32 percent and only converted 12 of 26 from the charity stripe.  The Vikings fared far worse, going at a paltry 13 of 52 clip for 25 percent even shooting.

Pitino becomes only the sixth coach in Division One history to win at least 700 games.  Coach K from Duke currently stands at 988 after another easy win for the Blue Devils against Furman, who definitely will take home the 2014 version of the Online Turkey Award from this blog reporter.

One guy was going in for a dunk, missed it from point blank range–then another guy scooped up the rebound and missed that shot completely too.

Oh well.  You win some, you lose some.

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.
If any other key upsets happen over the long holiday weekend, I will try my best to blog about it sometime during the back end of the weekend.

If form mostly holds outside of Butler in the Bahamas, I will blog again next week as another edition of the Big Ten/ACC and SEC/Big 12 Challenges are upon us.

Take care, and please try your best not to eat too much turkey.  Save some room for that delicious pumpkin pie.




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