Arizona went on to become the second team in conference history to sweep the regular-season and tournament titles in consecutive seasons, earning the Wildcats a No. 4 seed.
Buffalo guard Wes Clark, left, shoots as Arizona forward Keanu Pinder defends during the first half of a first-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Thursday, March 15, 2018, in Boise, Idaho. "And it's been through some of those obstacles that we've had to overcome". "And I believe that about our team". Making matters worse, Arizona now has no recruits signed for next season's freshman class. Already down by 14 points to Buffalo, Ayton's outburst of frustration confirmed what many had already begun to suspect: Arizona's season was over.
"If you paid attention to what was going on, every time I caught the ball, there were bodies standing right there when I'm trying to drive", Trier said. That finished his career with a total of 24 double-doubles, a UA season record, but it was, of course, a hollow statistic. A minute later, Ayton missed a layup and Buffalo raced down the court just like it had all game long and drained a 3-pointer.
"(We're) not anxious about what anybody is saying or what's going on off the basketball court, trying to put together our best basketball and see where it takes us", Trier said. "My guys were telling me that the guards were always behind me or somebody was always under me, so they were hesitant to pass me the ball over the top".
"Just a little bit", Ayton said of his frustration level.
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The first-round end meant Ayton won't get a chance to experience butterflies in a Sweet 16 game or in the Final Four, while the program enters a period of great uncertainty without him.
Ayton, meanwhile, will leave early along with Trier and Rawle Alkins for professional basketball this spring.
The Wildcats do not have a single recruit committed for next season and have only six returning players on next season's roster.
The strain of a tumultuous season could have caused Arizona's players to cave under the pressure, coach Sean Miller to give up and walk away.