Arizona upsets Utah behind Wise, Budinger

BY foxsports • March 21, 2009

Nic Wise held an ice pack to his lip. Chase Budinger had one on his left shin. Jordan Hill's was strapped atop his left ankle.

Zoning in

Video: Hear from Arizona after the No. 12-seeded Wildcats knocked off No. 5 seed Utah, 84-71.

Arizona's three stars may have been bruised - but not beaten.

And so much for that notion the Wildcats didn't belong in the NCAA tournament.

Wise scored 21 of his 29 points in the second half, Budinger added 20 and the 12th-seeded Wildcats - one of the last teams into the field of 65 - knocked off fifth-seeded Utah 84-71 Friday night in the first round of the Midwest Regional.

"We deserved to be here," Arizona interim coach Russ Pennell said. "Would we have been surprised if we had not been selected? No, that's a different question. But as far as us belonging here, we definitely belong here, and today was not about proving that. That was not our motivation. Our motivation was to win the game and move on."

Hill added 17 points and 13 rebounds and Kyle Fogg scored 12 for Arizona (20-13), which has been in the NCAAs 25 years in a row, but hadn't reached the second round since 2006. Arizona sweated out Selection Sunday, its tourney streak in serious jeopardy after finishing with losses in five of its final six games.

No worries now: Cleveland State or Wake Forest awaits the Wildcats on Sunday.

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