San Diego • Arms waving and legs churning, the Arizona Wildcats are racing back into the Sweet 16.
Overwhelming Gonzaga with its contest-everything defense, Arizona looked very much like the top seed in the West, blowing out the Bulldogs 84-61 on Sunday to reach the Sweet 16 for the third time in four years.
Coming off a shaky NCAA tournament opener, Arizona (32-4) ended a wild first weekend of upsets and buzzer beaters with a display of domination.
This was not the epic double-overtime game these teams played in the 2003 NCAA tournament. This was an eye-popping display of what one of the nation’s best teams can do when it gets rolling.
The Wildcats overran Gonzaga (29-7) with their size, athleticism and quick hands to blow the eighth-seeded Bulldogs out of the bracket.
Arizona scored 31 points of Gonzaga’s 21 turnovers — 15 on steals — and never gave the Zags a chance after racing out to a 21-point lead in the first half.
The rest of the bracket should take notice: If the Wildcats play like this, they’re going to be awfully tough to beat.
Next up for Arizona is fourth-seeded San Diego State — a team it beat in this same arena early in the season — in the Sweet 16 just up the coast in Anaheim.
Baylor 85, Creighton 55 • In San Antonio, Isaiah Austin and Brady Heslip each scored 17 points and Baylor shut down Creighton’s Doug McDermott with suffocating defense, ending the career of the one of the most prolific scorers in college history.
Baylor’s size and speed overwhelmed the third-seeded Bluejays (27-8) and their national scoring leader, earning a third trip to the Sweet 16 since 2010.
McDermott, who averaged 27 points this season, finished with 15 but had just three in the first half as Baylor built a 20-point lead.
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