In the 72 hours it took Belmont coach Rick Byrd to mobilize a game plan he believed could beat Arizona, the expectations back home in Tennessee became a bit warped.
SALT LAKE CITY - He was statistically superior but didn't seem dangerous.
Nick Johnson, Arizona's best defender for most of the season, had a major role in keeping Ian Clark, left, from heating up.
Arizona senior Mark Lyons, trying to shoot around Belmont's Brandon Baker, finished with a game-high 23 points on 8-for-15 shooting.
Arizona's Solomon Hill dribbles against Belmont's Ian Clark. Hill, who was 3 for 4 on three-point shots, said Belmont was the favorite, according to most Facebook and Twitter users. "It was a little bit of a motivator," he said.
SALT LAKE CITY - Once they finished damaging a lot of trendy tournament brackets Thursday, several Arizona Wildcats and their coach said they really didn't mind that a lot of folks said they were supposed to lose.
Belmont may be a double-digit seed, but Ian Clark, right, with Kerron Johnson, leads the nation in three-point percentage and scores 18.1 points per game.
SALT LAKE CITY - Back home at Likins Hall, the Arizona Wildcats' three freshmen big guys try to play defense against the little guy.
Arizona 6-foot-10-inch freshman Grant Jerrett, left, has spent time in practice this week guarding smaller players, such as 6-2 Gabe York.
UA coach Sean Miller says: "Sometimes in this tournament, game pressure in the moment becomes so big that you can deviate. Players do things they haven't done."
SALT LAKE CITY - After the Arizona Wildcats flew into the same Salt Lake airport they visited a month ago, they checked into the same Marriott hotel they had already visited twice in the past three seasons.
UA's Solomon Hill shoots in Wednesday's practice at EnergySolutions Arena. This is the Cats' fourth visit to Salt Lake City in the last three years.
SALT LAKE CITY - Ian Clark spent the week before Selection Sunday telling his teammates to enjoy the experience.
Belmont senior Ian Clark, Ohio Valley Conference co-player of the year, averages 18.1 points a game and is making 46.3 percent of his threes, tops in the nation.