Xavier stuns Arizona with late surge, advances to Elite Eight

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier used a late burst Thursday to surprise second-seeded Arizona, 73-71, in San Jose and advance to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament.

The 11th-seeded Musketeers fell behind the Wildcats by eight points late in the second half but went on a 12-2 run, including the game’s final nine points, to earn a date Saturday against top-seeded Gonzaga in the West.

With the score tied at 71, Sean O’Mara took a pass in the paint from Trevon Bluiett and hit a layup with 44 seconds remaining. Those proved to be the final points of the game.

Xavier becomes the seventh 11-seed to reach the Elite Eight round, with three of those schools moving on to the Final Four.

The Muskeeters have downed three top six seeds during this March run.