Buffalo pounds Arizona, ending Sean Miller's nightmare season and Deandre Ayton's college career | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Sunday / March 26.
  • Buffalo pounds Arizona, ending Sean Miller’s nightmare season and Deandre Ayton’s college career

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    Sean Miller’s nightmare season is over, and so is Deandre Ayton’s college career.

    No. 13 Buffalo pounded No. 4 Arizona, 89-68, in a first-round South Region game in Boise, Idaho.

    “Obviously this is a tough day,” Miller said. “And we have to move forward. My thoughts are more with our players right now. It’s not easy to win the Pac-12 Tournament in the regular season, overcome a lot, get here to the tournament finally and not play well and get beat like we got beat. But that’s part of sports.”

    Among the implications of this loss are:

    **Arizona lost in the first round for the second time in three seasons. Miller has still never been to a Final Four.

    **Instead of a highly anticipated Kentucky-Arizona second-round game on Saturday, we will see Buffalo against Kentucky instead. No. 5 Kentucky knocked off No. 12 Davidson, 78-73, earlier Thursday.

    **Miller’s immediate future at Arizona is unclear. ESPN reported that Miller was caught on a federal wiretap offering to pay $100,000 to land Ayton, and both Miller and Ayton then denied it. It remains unclear if Arizona will continue to have Miller’s back, if Miller will opt to leave, or if the two sides will simply part ways. Miller has been linked to the opening at Pittsburgh, where he played college ball.

    **The 7-foot Ayton and the 6-3 Allonzo Trier both declared for the NBA Draft following the game. Ayton is the projected No. 1 pick, while ESPN.com has Trier at No. 57.

    **As ESPN’s Jeff Borzello Tweeted, Arizona has only six players locked in for next season: Alex Barcello, Brandon Randolph, Dylan Smith, Emmanuel Akot, Ira Lee and Chase Jeter. They have no commits for the 2018-19 season.


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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.