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The No. 6 Clemson Tigers secured a spot in the national championship by defeating the No. 2 Arizona Wildcats in a thrilling Sweet 16 matchup. Despite a late-game surge from the Wildcats, the Tigers managed to hold them off and come out victorious with a score of 77-72. Clemson maintained a lead going into the second half, but Arizona managed to tie the game at 43 with a Caleb Love and-one. However, the Tigers remained composed and continued to make crucial shots down the stretch to secure the win.

As both teams traded baskets, the Tigers managed to maintain a lead of 68-63 with 2:23 remaining in the game. PJ Hall’s free throws extended Clemson’s lead, but Arizona’s Oumar Ballo made a layup to keep the game close. With just over a minute left, Clemson focused on making key defensive stops and knocking down free throws to maintain their advantage. Arizona’s Jaden Bradley hit a 3-pointer to bring the Wildcats within two points, but Clemson’s Chase Hunter responded with a critical layup while being fouled, converting the three-point play to extend the lead.

Despite the Wildcats’ best efforts to mount a comeback, Clemson’s Chase Hunter and Dillon Hunter made crucial plays to keep the Tigers ahead. Three of Clemson’s starters scored in double figures, with Chase Hunter leading the way with 18 points and Hall contributing 17. Arizona faced a tough shooting night, especially from Love, who went 0-for-9 from beyond the arc and finished with 13 points. Ballo had a strong performance for Arizona with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Clemson now awaits the winner of the matchup between No. 1 North Carolina and No. 4 Alabama as they continue their journey in the NCAA Tournament.

The Tigers’ ability to make clutch baskets and maintain composure under pressure was key to their victory over the Wildcats in the Sweet 16 matchup. Despite Arizona’s late-game surge and attempts to take the lead, Clemson held their ground and executed effectively to secure the win. Players like Chase Hunter and PJ Hall stepped up with crucial plays down the stretch, helping the Tigers stay ahead and advance in the tournament. Arizona’s struggles, particularly in shooting, contributed to their downfall, while Clemson’s solid performance on both ends of the court propelled them to success.

Clemson’s poised and determined performance in the Sweet 16 matchup exemplified their readiness to compete at a high level and contend for the national championship. The Tigers’ ability to withstand pressure situations, make key shots, and execute defensively when it mattered most showcased their resilience and mental toughness. Moving forward, Clemson will face stiff competition as they await the outcome of the matchup between top-seeded North Carolina and fourth-seeded Alabama. As the Tigers continue their journey in the NCAA Tournament, their ability to stay focused, play to their strengths, and make clutch plays will be crucial factors in their pursuit of a national title.

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