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To make his fourth trip, he'll have to get through his old program - the upstart Xavier Musketeers.

The Musketeers trailed Arizona by eight with three minutes to go, but Sean O'Mara's inside bucket with 40 seconds left completed a spirited comeback and gave Xavier the lead for good.

"We weren't flawless in the second half, " Mack said.

Trevon Bluiett and No. 11 seed Xavier will face Gonzaga in Saturday's West Region final on Sunday for a berth in the school's first-ever Final Four. "We knew when we got them that we were starting to get our mojo back, everything was starting to come back".

"I personally have so much love for (Miller) and his staff", Mack said.

"We tore off some good players right there", Xavier head coach Chris Mack said, surveying a scene that had the direct opposite vibe of the way his 2016 season ended, as a No. 2 seed falling to No. 7 Wisconsin in the second round, on a buzzer-beating jumper by Bronson Koenig in St. Louis.

Moving forward, Macura and company will look to continue their improbable run to the Final Four against No. 2 seed Arizona. As for Miller, his defensive strategy to start the game was probably the single biggest slip-up for either team and there didn't seem to be any adjustment he could make to take away Xavier's advantages. The Wildcats made just 9 of their first 27 shots from the field and were impatient against the zone, converting 3 of 16 from the 3-point arc.

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"You're only an underdog if you feel like you're the lesser team, and I don't feel that way about our guys and I don't think they feel that way about each other".

Two years ago, Sean O'Mara suited up for Xavier's Sweet 16 game against Arizona in Los Angeles and watched the outing from the bench. Allonzo Trier triggered the Wildcats' second-half surge, scoring 15 straight points. The Wildcats are arguably the most talented team left in the tournament, and have four players who now average double digits. Arizona will edge out Xavier in a nail biter, winning 78-73.

While we know Sunday's tip times, a lot could still change, such as who plays the early game. Freshman sensation Lauri Markkanen scored just nine, seven below his average, and took his last shot at the 11:12 mark of the second half. Arizona had opened up a 69-61 lead with 3 minutes, 45 seconds to play, and, hey, great run, and now it was time to go home. Arizona finished the season with an outstanding 32-5 record that included a Pac-12 regular-season and tournament championship, but the Wildcats once again came short of that elusive Final Four appearance.

Cameron, a point guard just like his father, scored 21 points in the 81-48 loss, finishing with 1,017 points in his career. They have reached the Sweet 16 five times in eight years under Sean Miller, but they've yet to get their coach to his first Final Four.

The Musketeers are the only double-digit seed left in the tournament — SC and MI are the next-highest at No. 7.

Guard Edmond Sumner's season-ending injury and Bluiett's nagging maladies had contributed to a listless month, but so what?


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