PROVIDENCE, R.I. (KGUN9-TV/AP) - Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker combined for 29 points and Wichita State's swarming defense did the rest as the Shockers beat Arizona 65-55 on Thursday night in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Wichita State (26-8) will play Miami (26-7), the third seed in the South Region, on Saturday.
Arizona coach Sean Miller called a timeout 53 seconds into the game after VanVleet and Baker pounced on a loose ball in the Wildcats end. It was evident from the outset that Wichita State's in-your-face defense was going to be the decisive factor against Arizona (25-9).
"I wish I could have done a better job of helping our guys on offense because we struggled," said head coach Sean Miller. "When you play against a defense that talented, ferocious, disciplined, tough, you have to be great at what you do, and that's what is going to be required to beat them."
The Shockers forced 19 turnovers they converted into 22 points and snared nine steals.
Arizona's big three of Ryan Anderson, Gabe York, and Allonzo Trier, each averaging 15 points, combined for 28.
"This is why I came here, for this game," said Anderson. "I worked two long years to get to here and this isn't what I wanted or what anyone wanted. But this is life. And, you don't always get what you want."
"Right now, my emotions are all over the place," added Trier. "It is really unfortunate to know that the season is over."
It's Arizona's first opening round loss since 2007 when the Wildcats were defeated by Purdue.