SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Freshman Lauri Markkanen scored 20 points as second-seeded Arizona cruised to a 100-82 victory over No. 15 North Dakota on Thursday night in the first round of the NCAA's West Regional.
Arizona used a 13-1 run early in the first half to take 24-13 lead and never looked back. The Wildcats (31-4) lead 53-37 at halftime thanks to a dominant 16-point half from Markkanen and a 61.1 shooting percentage in the first 20 minutes.
The Wildcats will face seventh-seeded Saint Mary's in the second round on Saturday. The Gaels beat VCU 85-77.
It was almost as if Arizona's players were taking turns scoring. Allonzo Trier continued his late-season success and had a highlight tomahawk dunk to push the lead to 44-27. He finished with 18 points.
Rawle Alkins was aggressive early and scored 20 while Dusan Ristic started hot in the second half and added 12.
Markkanen, who's expected to be a high first-round NBA draft pick, was a constant as North Dakota couldn't match his size (7-foot, 230 pounds) or skill.
Quinton Hooker led the Fighting Hawks (22-10) with 25 points and Drick Bernstine added 20.