The Arizona Wildcats fought tooth and nail against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Even with Mark Lyons scoring 23 points, however, it just want not enough as the Wildcats lost in the Sweet 16. With seconds quickly running off the clock, LaQuinton Ross hit a three-pointer that sent Arizona back to the desert.
Arizona has plenty of to be proud of. Despite the loss, the Wildcats had a tremendous season that just so happens to be ending on a sour note. Sean Miller has done a great job making this program one of the best out west–if not the entire country. Miller even has a slew of quality freshman coming in next year. So the loss, while disappointing, is not the end of Arizona’s rise to prominence.
The impact of Arizona’s season could be seen within the crowd. The game was played at the Staples Center in Los Angeles–so it was obviously easier for Arizona fans to make the trip compared to the Ohio State faithful. You could hear the Wildcats’ advantage, especially in the first half, of having more fans in attendance.
Except, Arizona did not count on the exploits of The Price is Right. You got it, none other than Drew Carey was in attendance. While nowhere near as awesome or legendary as pet neutering aficionado Bob Barker, Carey has done a swell job of carrying the Price is Right flag. He also happens to call the state of Ohio home. Meaning, not only is he desperate for professional sports success, but will piggyback collegiate teams to root for.
If you grew up like I did–replacing production or play with the show–then you know the importance of having the correct price. Unfortunately for Arizona, they did not count on Aaron Craft passing on a game-winning shot opportunity and left Ross open for three–which is the equivalent of going over the actual retail price in the showcase showdown.
Did Arizona lose because of the Price is Right? No, that would be just ridiculous. Although, it wouldn’t have been a horrible idea to get a celebrity of their own to cheer them on. I mean, at this portion of the big dance a team needs all the advantages they could get.
Alas, I guess Nick Nolte was unavailable.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone